"I know what people may think but I don’t care about their expectations. I’ll beat them."
"You can do that as, like, a side job, but that can’t be your actual career."
This is a sentence I began hearing at the young age of seven years old, when I first answered the question of what I wanted to be when I grew up with the word "writer." As a second grader I never understood why my teachers and adult relatives would tell me this, and to this day, at the age of 23, I still don’t.
It may not be realistic but I’m not interested in other people’s view of realism. What I am interested in is the real steps I need to take to achieve my ideal life. It may hurt like hell and require sleepless nights, extreme resourcefulness and the occasional emotional breakdown but the things I want aren’t impossible. This isn’t even opinion, it's fact.
The hottest awards shows of the year are lined with people who were told "no." The biggest household names, the artists and writers that inspired the posters you have on your wall or the tattoo you have on your foot, were all faced with the word "no" when they presented the world with their ideas.
But while seeking to prove everyone wrong and achieve your dreams may appear noble, it isn’t always. Pushing past naysayers despite how loud their voices grow is a great feat, but your motivation for doing so can alter that accomplishment.
"Who cares about the motivation behind your actions if it ultimately gets you to the same place?" you may ask. Well, for starters, it'll matter to you and your sense of fulfillment. When we feel we have something to prove to others and to ourselves, it means we still feel insecure about something.
We’re carrying with us a sense of pain or anger, which adds fuel to the fire, and admittedly, is why I’m addicted to proving people wrong.
Every time I see a barrier or a standard, I want to knock it down. It doesn’t even require thought; it's just reflex at this point.
Recently, I left a job that most people, even my closest friends, would say that I shouldn’t have left. In fact, they have said that to me. "It’s not a smart move. "It won’t look good."
I knew what they were telling me was true, but that didn’t stop me.
I wasn’t happy where I was, not by a longshot. "I know what people may think but I don’t care about their expectations. I’ll beat them. I always beat them."
I still stand by that and will continue to stand by it if someone were to come at me with the exact same dialogue.
Maybe my stubbornness is good in some ways. I always seem to find ways around roadblocks that would otherwise hold other people back. I’ll find or forge a path whatever it takes. But still, I can’t help but question myself: Why am I doing this? What’s the point? Am I still plagued by built-up pain and frustration from people and years past? When I do get what I want, will I still be carrying around these emotions?
I still have a lot left to figure out and probably a lot left to change, but for whatever it’s worth, I’m still writing. It looks like my seven-year-old self still refuses to be proven wrong.