I think if you want to get to know somebody’s journey in the shortest amount of time possible, the best way is to ask “What was your dream at 13 years old, and what is your dream now?” The changes in our mindsets best reflect the things we have experienced, our dreams direct projections of those changes.
When I was 13, I dreamed of stability. I spent my childhood in a country with conservative values and parents who raised me with hopes that I will have a smooth ride in life. So naturally I dreamed of having a a job where people respect me, with a stable income and is constantly in demand. I hoped to marry someone I love who will be financially capable and our child will grow up without a single worry. We will have the daily 9-5 grind but we won’t complain because that’s life, and take family vacations twice a year to generic places like a cruise to the Caribbean.
I’m now 20. While I would still love to have all the things I dreamed of having when I was 13, what makes my heart flutter is now completely different. Being able to make my own hours, take days off work to go travelling to out-of-reach places, going on road trips with some friends and maybe never having children. I’ll marry someone I love and we can live with two cats in a studio loft. Some weekends we’ll fly to Las Vegas and some we’ll explore corners of the city. Move to a place far away from family for a few years before they start getting old and go snorkelling in Australia.
The hardest part about this change is that I’m not done with the process. On one hand I know it would be a blessing to even get to do the daily 9-5 grind, to be able to marry a person I love, and raise children without trying to make ends meet. On the other hand, that path robs me of things I could have if I can just forget about stability for a second. To be honest I’m not sure if I’ll ever be over that conflict. But more importantly, will I even get a choice?