Ever since I was a little kid, people often asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Smiling, they expected the usual responses of all little girls my age, thinking that I wanted to be a “mermaid” or a “princess”. Little did they know, I had no such future profession in mind. When asked what I wanted to be, I answered, “I want to be a bird.”
Hearing such response from a tiny girl like me, they laughed and laughed at the confidence of my voice. Here I was, no taller than a work desk, aiming for metamorphosis. The idea was simply preposterous, but being little, I was cute enough to get away with what I said. After all, a little kid’s world has no existence of such rules or social norms; it knows nothing of responsibility or reality. It’s a world that consists only of fantasized dreams and possibilities, so delicate that it must be protected until the necessary day it comes for a little kid to grow up.
Going into high school, I was lost amidst the work I had, with goals no longer of sprouting wings to fly, but rather to sprout a GPA that could get me into college. The never-ending dreams that once danced through my mind as I fantasized about my future were no longer far-fetched, but rather grounded into reality as I based my choices according to what seemed most reasonable. In high school, I was asked the same question again, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And rather having the same happy-go-lucky spirit I had, I found myself unable to answer this question.
Everything that I once knew, everything that I once believed in, was challenged. Suddenly, I couldn’t be taken seriously if I responded that I wanted to be a bird. I was forced to come face-to-face with reality and the ever burning uncertainty of what I “actually wanted” to do with my life. Immediately, the world of great possibilities that I once lived in, seemed unacceptable, hostile, obnoxious, where being a bird was unrealistic and simply “childish”.
But is it really?
As humans, we have a tendency to grow unsatisfied very quickly, where In the end, we will always long for something we can never truly have. Kids, however, can’t wait to grow up and look forward to the days to which they become adults, as they have their dreams to push them forward and continuously inspire them to become who they want to be.
Kids are often looked down upon for their lack of experience and education, but in reality, shouldn’t they be the ones we look up to? Their free-minded spirits are something to be admired as they live life with no care of the restrictive social norms that are emplaced, and nowadays that’s something that is very hard to come by.
Of course – unless there have been scientific advancements that have proven it possible – I cannot be a bird. However, in these two extremes of being a kid and an adult, there exists a creative space out of the hybridity of these two very different worlds for me to fulfill my dreams. Society believes in reality and factual evidence, thus people’s worlds of possibilities are limited. Yet, I want to live in a world where I could be anything I want to be, to be a bird no matter what it takes.
It all comes down to this: the world is filled with endless potential; it’s only when we set limits on ourselves that we find our worlds limited by impossibilities.
Therefore, I am a dreamer and I am no longer going to rush to embrace the social norms that once ruled over my life. I am going to continue to broaden and nurture my dreams through tackling life with unrelenting energy. I am going to live in a world filled with infinite possibilities, and someday, I am going to be a bird.