I’m sure by glancing at the title, several eyebrows have been risen and various preconceived judgments have been formed.
For several days, I have been nagged about why I chose the field I am presently in and why I didn’t go into the stereotypical medical or engineering background as most of my fellow brown skinned acquaintances might have. Off the record, when they are thinking I can’t hear what they’re saying; I once again overhear the forever haunting term “disappointment.”
I have been hearing this colloquy since elementary school, when I had declared then that I wanted to be a teacher; only to be shut down immediately of that dream with the reasoning that they don’t make enough money, so I was told to pursue medicine, and initially, I did,(Dropping it later on realizing I was miserable). Funny how money always plays a huge part of these conversations. I respect all my teachers and the profession as they are genuinely the ones working on a budget salary trying to create the future leaders of the world; but to these close-minded individuals whom declared that I am a disappointment, they are just the people to put a grade on me and pass me on to the next level.
When trying to reason with them about the why I chose my profession; all I see is a grim, weary look without the slightest line of understanding as to who I am and what I aspire to me. Several of my dreams, my aspirations have been put aside for their personal reasons, which hurts, but it’s how my life was/is.
I have been asked by several of those outside the “brown” world as what these individuals think of me pursing this or that, whether I will be whisked away, etc. I used to answer these questions with my utmost honest experiences; only to get a look of pity, confusion, and perhaps later on a loss of opportunity. So now, I lie. My answer of lies has become so believable for they are genuine dreams of mine as to how I wished I lived.
Unless you managed to somehow become invisible and live with me for a couple of days; one would imagine my life to be perfectly normal. Yet, like I mentioned, its not for I hear the word “disappointment” at least 3 days out of the 7 in a week. (Yes, I have tallied and averaged it out…)
I brought myself up from telling myself I am a failure because no matter how hard I try to get better for them, I just can’t. It was once a constant uphill battle to try and meet their expectations of myself and when they’ve realize I won’t- their resort is to “marry me off,” and lend the burden to someone else.
Before, hearing this would bring me down a dark spiral. I felt that I was a failure, and it was likely to be true, since I have disappointed with every little thing I do. No matter how I try to impress them in my various other stronger aspects and passions- it will never be enough. They believe it to be a mistake, a mess up like the stain of black upon a clean slate of white.
But it’s because of their disappointment and disapproval in what I do, that has encouraged me to fight the uphill battle not towards them, but on a different path. A path to self-redemption. There are others who encompass with me with love and care, encouragement and support and that has overpowered the darkness of what was disappointment to now unlocking my full potential. I see that their disappointment is their ignorance. Their moral code of refusing to change and adapt to the world and those in it will not last or break me. Now I realize, they are the disappointment.
I/we were brought up to be isolated from the world around us, told that we know nothing because we have yet to live through it- but how can that be if discovery of self is not an option.
Instead, I now see with new set of eyes beautiful, smart people trying to make the world a better place and I could not feel more energized to be part of it. If they are not afraid to challenge me- my generation now, then I won’t be to challenge theirs.