“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“What’s your major?”
“What do you plan to do after you graduate from college?”
Throughout our lives, we’re often asked what direction we’re headed in when it comes to our career paths. While these types of questions are harmless on the surface, I dread (read: hate) being asked them. Why? Because people don’t want to hear the truth. They don’t want to hear that you want to be an actor, writer, or mechanic when you grow up, that you’re “undecided” or applying to a community or technical college, that you’ve decided to change your major during your sophomore year, or that you rather spend your time traveling and investing in your business & family than going to college.
Instead, they want to hear perfectly curated, socially acceptable answers such as “I want to be a doctor/lawyer/engineer when I grow up,” “my major is pre-nursing/computer science/architecture,” and “I plan to work at XYZ company, making $XX,XXX+ amount of money, and ultimately become the [insert high position/recognition] after I graduate from XYZ college two years earlier than expected.”
While I don’t lie when I answer these types of questions, I’ve made it a habit to provide generic answers and quickly turn the spotlight on the inquirer to avoid telling nitty gritty details about my current predicament. Moreover, I’ve lost interest in these conversations due to the nature of them.
We’re expected to choose and focus on ONE socially acceptable career path our whole lives and to put aside anything else of interest that may hinder us from becoming successful in that one path.
But what if you don’t want to follow one career path? What if you want to indulge in the various interests that you have? What if you want to be involved in an artistic field instead of a STEM field (or even both at the same time)? What if you’re supposed to be a multipotentialite? What then?
“A multipotentialite is someone with many interests and creative pursuits. Multipotentialites have no “one true calling” the way specialists do. Being a multipotentialite is our destiny. We have many paths and we pursue all of them, either sequentially or simultaneously (or both).”
Well, you can either ignore your gut and conform to social standards or you can listen to your gut and take a chance on yourself. I finally choose the latter. I have wasted six years of my life trying to conform to my family and peers’ expectations. SIX YEARS. No more. Going forward, I choose to pursue the paths I’m genuinely interested in no matter how risky and uncertain those paths may seem.
That’s why I chose the word “multipotentialite” for the year 2019.
Because 2019 is about embracing myself and my dreams.
2019 is about exploring my passions and turning them into my career.
2019 is about risks, learning opportunities, bravery, and victories.
Over to You
What about you? What’s your word for 2019? Let me know via Twitter @jessicadukharan!