When I was 6 I wanted to be a dancer and a painter and a writer. By the time I turned 8,it became apparent that there were no painters and writers around me and so I decided I would be a pediatrician. Not that I loved kids but I think I figured that Peds would be easier than GP because kids were smaller. And then I wanted to become a vet because I have always had a deep and usually extreme love for animals (I sieved ants from my juice and placed them back onto the kitchen counter)and well since society’s goal for any child (usually) was for them to become a doctor, I thought why not an animal doctor?Then came the vet on career day with his yellowing shirt and broken spectacles, taped along the bridge . He grimmly narrated a story of the horse with a broken leg that he had rescued the day before and I decided that I couldn’t become a vet because I was not emotionally capable of dealing with animals in distress. And so in highschool, I decided I would become a pilot because as I suffocated within the rigid depths of boarding school rules, inflexible routine and hormonally charged girl drama, the twinkling aeroplanes that would fly over us every so often to/from the airport nearby were my only source of comfort and reassurance of life beyond the walls of riara springs (girls) academy. And then I finished high school, with a pretty decent grade. Because aviation school was quite expensive, it was suggested that I go into medicine. “ You have the grades for it,” mom suggested. “How about marketing, I think you are more on the creative side..” dad implied… And so I studied marketing still aware of the fact that I didn’t have the resolution that I hoped to have when deciding on a career.
After finishing university I started to question everything. A job at a corporate firm threw me into disarray after realising that I couldn’t answer emails all day and call that work. My friends seemed to be settling into their “upwardly mobile, corporate bitch” roles easily. I struggled and I envied them. I wanted to be content. I had always followed the ‘system’ but all over sudden this charge within me just wouldn’t give in. It was maddening. Eventually, my conscience became too loud and thus! I became a singer and painter (lol). It was liberating and unobstructing and rebellious and fulfilling. It was also difficult and emotionally draining because I had to explain myself hundreds of times to people who didn’t understand my decision. And then I got broke. And while my father supported my decision he made it 100% clear that he would not be giving me any money once my savings run out. Slowly I started to resent my decision because, money is surely tied to our dignity. I wondered why other people never questioned as much as I, their inherent purpose. I wanted with everything in me to be just like them. After blaming God for giving me this inquisitive, hard headed, audacious nature, I took a fucking chill pill and stopped fighting. I let life flow because I can’t explain why some things happen but I get peace after listening to the likes of Joel Osteen who I heard say today-something about life being like a puzzle and that a complete puzzle is beautiful in its glory however if you took one piece out of the puzzle and looked at it you would say, “By golly! What a strange looking thing. Where would that fit (into my life)?”
I usually reserve such personal entries for my diary but I think this may touch someone. Or maybe lead me to find an email in my inbox from a 65y/o silver haired free and strong willed female reader such as me who will say, “You are doing alright Julia. I did crazier things in my youth and look at me now.”