What do you want to be in the future?

A blunt stare. A short sigh. An indifferent reaction. A satirical remark. Every kind of response is expected from you. As clichéd as the posed statement may sound, you already realize the gravity this statement possesses. So, what is your answer? If you have an exact answer to the question then applaud yourself! As for the ones who do not, we are on the same boat, mate! And so are every nine out of ten of you who are reading this. I asked a few teens, for the same.

Sauharda, 18 remarked, “I have wanted to be a pilot throughout high school. But I have realized I want to go into theatre now. I am still exploring. And I have only one life so I cannot say my aim is fixed.”

Preeyanka, 19 said, “I want to be a lawyer. But I know this phase may pass so I plan to study Liberal Arts, just to be on the safe side.”

Sampreety, 16 said, “I am not yet sure about ‘what I want to be in life’. I get influenced very easily and aims for me are like changing seasons. As for now, I am totally engrossed in blogging so I want to be a writer in the future. Then again, the pay is really less so this might not be my aim. I don’t really know.”

 

The confusion is understandable since the virtual world is literally trying to suck us in with every other career choice. You want to be like the pretty Anne Hathaway from The Devil Wears Prada one minute, cool Omar from Wire the next, audacious Angelina Jolie from Gia, and at times the experimental Audrey Tautau from Coco before Chanel tempts you to be like her. It definitely is not your mistake if you feel like you want to be a model just because Chanel Iman seems to be having the best life every time you see her on Fashion TV or a designer because Prabal Gurung is creating waves in the international fashion world or a computer major hopeful of turning out as the next Steve Jobs. You gain happiness when you strum guitar and sing but you think of the pay and shift and pursue Economics. It is not your mistake. It is the way the world works. It does seem like the entire world is working on a conspiracy to confuse us all with our career choices.


I was sure about my future when I was eight and my parents seemed extremely happy. Making a stethoscope through clay was easy, listening to the heartbeats of people around me was easier. They felt better instantly when I used my fingers as injections. I was sure that I would be a doctor. While in junior high, the idea of the existence of space attracted me and I wanted to be an astronaut. I was thirteen then but I was sure. But when the dance that I choreographed was announced the winner, I was sure that I would work towards running my own dance studio in Kathmandu. But then after I read one extremely inspiring article in some international magazine about a woman who sounded like the best lawyer I had ever heard of, I was sure I would be a lawyer. But then again, my Post SLC year introduced me to sketching designs. I would read every fashion article I ever came across. I would spend all my class hours sketching designs into all my copies and books. I was sure that I would be a designer. Again, Senior high introduced me to a surer ambition—theatre, music and poetry. I would be a theatre artiste. But I was taking Science as my major subject. Suddenly, I was doubtful. The skepticism in me took the lead. Was I ever sure? Will I ever be sure?


Now that I am done with high school, it is finally the time to be sure, of the side I want to specialize in. But strange, I have never been this unsure before. Tons of work experience letters, millions of kitchen fights with Aama, rejections from the Ivy’s and a year off from studies later, I have realized I am an artist. But then it seems like if I choose to become an artist, I will have to give up on my dreams—of owning a Volkswagen Beetle, beach house, a world tour and my entire materialistic wish list. Now, with this situation that I have, how can I be as sure as I did when I was eight? Can I still call it my ambition? Or is this just another whim? Maybe I will think about it tomorrow.