I’ll never forget the words uttered to me by someone I genuinely thought was proud of me, ‘Whilst I’ll be giving back to the world, you’ll be testing out the next Dove moisturiser or writing about David Beckham’s new hair cut’. True, I guess. But not entirely fair. What I currently do in my spare time, running my blog – is mainly a space to express the more trivial things in life, but by no means is it less meaningful. And who is anyone to judge what I love and enjoy. I don’t just write about celebrities and their new hairstyles (in fact, I rarely do) but I simply enjoy the process of writing, whether it’s putting together some research on a news item (investigative journalism is definitely something I’d like to explore) or writing a short story. I don’t think it’s fair to undermine anyone’s dreams, no matter how large or small they seem to you.
I know there are many career paths that some people may look down upon, such as waitressing for example, which I also experienced firsthand aged 16-18. I know waiters are there first and foremost, to serve, but that doesn’t mean they should be looked down upon or valued any less. The manner in which many people talk to waiters is disgusting, and although (the customer is always right), you can’t bat an eyelid, there have been many moments where I’ve wanted to tell the customer exactly what I think of them too. Just because we’re waitressing for a few months to earn a bit of money, it doesn’t mean we don’t have a brain.
In a world which is rife with competition for jobs, and careers, I think it’s a bad move to ever undermine someone’s dreams, as it can have a lasting effect on someone’s self esteem. Whether you want to enter into illustration, or writing, or science, or mathematics, or teaching, or law. Or journalism, celebrity reporting, reviewing, designing, selling or inventing, nothing should be undermined.
Yes, being a doctor might seem a more ‘valuable’ career path in the grand scheme of things, but realistically, not everyone wants to become a doctor. I want to write for a living, whether it’s about the bigger picture, or the stuff we read to cheer us up a bit (my Cosmo magazine never fails to perk me up on a sad day). In a world full of so many opportunities, it seems silly to ever disregard or devalue anyone’s aspirations. Aspirations are there to be aspirational, but also motivational.
I know I’m going off on a bit of a rant here, perhaps inspired by the negative reactions I’ve had to what I’d love to do, but I’d hate to think that some people aren’t pursuing their dreams, based on someone else’s perception of what they’d like to do. My late grandfather had always wanted to pursue a career in zoology, but in those days, it was regarded (and maybe still is) as an unrealistic career path, so he was forced to get a ‘normal’ apprenticeship. After a few years suffering doing something he knew he would never love, he finally did what he wanted to do, and eventually set up a successful business venture (more for love than money) breeding and rescuing big cats (so I grew up with baby pumas, snow leopards and clouded leopards – if you don’t believe me, I have the pictures to prove it).
If you have a dream, what’s the harm in ‘just going for it’. Whether you’re 14 and choosing your GCSE’s, 16 choosing your A Levels or 46 in a job you don’t particularly enjoy. Life’s far too short to think ‘What if’, or ‘I’d wish’. You never know what may come of it. You never know if you don’t give it a good go.
It’s just a thought.