Remember when you were in preschool and the teacher asked you, “what do you want to be when you grow up?“. They tell us we can be anything we want. We can be a doctor, a pilot, an astronaut just about anything. But look at yourself now? Are you really doing what you dreamed of as a child? Are you who you wanted to be?
All our lives we have been told to dream big to achieve our goals. Then why is that our parents enforce their unaccomplished dreams on us? You see half the women in Pakistan who only want to be doctors. That’s the only respectable profession - it’s either that or no jobs at all for them.
It’s funny how they tell us to dream big and then put all these limitations on our dreams. Limitations according to our values or norms built in our society. Let me ask you this: Are you OK if your son wants to be a designer or let’s say a makeup artist? Let’s be completely honest here. The answer is no. Why? Is it because only gay men can be designers or makeup artists? Is it because a man can’t be masculine if he is a designer or a makeup artist? What about when a girl wants to be an athlete? Does that make her any less of a woman?
We are so afraid that our children will be judged by the life they choose, by who they want to be. All we are ever concerned about is what other people will say, what the society will say and with that we limit children to dream within these boundaries that we set up.
We are told time and again to be different, to think outside the box but when we do, it’s suddenly wrong? It’s funny how they tell us to dream but within limits? Can we actually set limitations on people about who they want to be?
Isn’t it funny how we want our daughters to be strong, independent women yet when they become one, they are suddenly out of control and too hard to handle? And it’s funny how men say they want an independent woman who stands up for herself but when she speaks most men are intimidated.
What I fail to understand is, why are we asked what we want to be, if at the end of the day we are living someone else’s dreams? Parents want their kids to be happy but they are OK with their kids doing jobs they hate only because they want to enforce their dreams on their kids. I know people who don’t want to be doctors or lawyers but are only doing it for their parent’s happiness. I ask you, what about your happiness? What about your dreams? What about what you want to be?
So what is the solution here? What is the message that I am trying to convey? I believe we need to believe in our dreams and follow them. They might be small or silly to other people but they are important to us. So we should believe them, follow them and we shall be successful… and most importantly, happy and content with our lives. We should be who we want to be and achieve what we want to achieve.
Don’t let your parents, siblings, friends, family members or the society especially, put limitations on your dreams. In the end, it’s your life and it’s your choice, you can be and do anything you want to. All you’ve got to do is believe in the dream.
My name is Fartashia Asim and I am from Pakistan. I am aspiring to be a writer. I believe in writing articles that touch your soul and inspire people and change their perspective about life. I believe real change can take place when we can actually change the way another person thinks. I believe in writing about social issues to raise awareness and, little by little, open people's minds and contribute to bringing change.