Monday, 9 November 2015

I want to grow up... Happy

When I was in sixth form we regularly hosted dress up days for charities. One that sticks in my head vividly had the theme of what you want to be when you grow up.

To be honest at that age I had no idea what job I wanted to have when I was older, but I knew one thing. I wanted to be happy in whatever I was doing. I didn't want to persue something that didn't make me jump out of bed. I wanted to feel excited about going to work. I also knew that work wasn't the be all and end all. The life I saw for future me wasn't just about work, it was about life. I wanted a lifestyle that would make me happy not just a job. Life is about family, friends, experiences, hobbies, interests and so much more as well as work.

So I chose to customise a tshirt. I drew a massive smiley face on it because when I grew up I wanted to be HAPPY!

At sixth form that day, so many professions were covered. There were farmers, vet and doctors. My friend dressed up as a magician. But I was singled out that day by teachers. I was asked what on earth I'd dressed up as. Yes, maybe it wasn't clear. I explained. Once I had told them, I was told it wasn't a valid aspiration. Asked what I really wanted to do, as if happiness wasn't enough, that it couldn't possibly just have the that as an ambition. That my ambitions should be higher and further than just being happy. I was told I need to find a career. I needed to choose I job that was academic. That wanting to be happy wouldn't get me anywhere in life. 

Is this the message we want to giving to children? That academia is worth more than someone's happiness. That being seen to be 'successful' in a job is more important that emotional wellbeing.

Don't misunderstand. I have a job I love and am passionate about progressing and improving, but I won't be doing that at the expense of my own happiness.

Kate xx

8 comments:

  1. I can't believe your teachers are trying to plant that idea in their students heads, that's ridiculous! Surely teachers should be encouraging people to choose to do what they are good at and what makes them happy?!

    The Velvet Black | UK Style & Beauty Blog

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    1. That's what I thought. I'm so glad that ultimately I choose to do nothing that they told me I should. Instead I choose something that they perceived was failing / too lowly / not academic enough, but it makes me super happy!

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  2. very well said, yes we have to work and yes we all want to do our best but.... we have to be happy! Love your customised tshirt idea, very clever Hun!

    xx

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    1. I'll have to dig out a pic of the tshirt. Happiness is really important as is doing something for the right reasons for you. xx

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  3. Well said! It's a terrible thing to witness how society put all the emphasis on being the "successful" at all costs. It doesn't help everyone - in fact it's quite burdening. I wish this kind of thinking could just vanish away (a girl can dream, right?!?).

    Noor | Noor's Place

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    1. We can dream. I think the burden of being 'successful' can really weigh heavy. Success can be completely different for different people.

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  4. I'm so sorry you were given such a hassle. This reminds me of my high school friend: she graduated top of her class and excelled in all academics. When guidance counselors asked her what she wanted to do with her life, she said "I want to be a mother." They balked and shoved college brochures at her and assured her "But you have such good grades you could go to school anywhere, do anything you want!" I confess I also felt like, with her charm and smarts, she should have wanted more. Now that I'm older I think the opposite. Who are they to decide for her what she should want to be? What's wrong with wanting to be a mother? It was as if they were implying motherhood was only for people who weren't smart enough to go to college. Which, WTF? Don't we want clever, smart, devoted people to become parents, too? By the way, she DID go to college. She hated it, but graduated, then married and she has two sons now.

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  5. This makes me feel so sad, what is the most wonderful aspiration to have and for it to be knocked down by superiors who ideally want nothing but the best for you just breaks my heart. Sadly schools are too fixated on ACADEMIC SUCCESS and Results. I do hope you are happy & are giving them a big middle finger whilst doing so. Nurturing people should not just be about a career that defines us but who we are as a person, there's not enough of that message!
    Bee | QueenBeady.com

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