“What do you want to do with your life?” Is it me, or is that one of the worst questions someone can ask, I mean it’s almost worse than my Dad’s “What are your short-term and long-term goals?” Growing up I used to cringe every time he asked me that because I knew what he wanted me to say. I also knew that what he wanted me to say were HIS goals for me and they were never really MY own goals. So I’d say what he wanted to hear, but I’d find it really uncomfortable because it was like telling a really big lie that made him proud of me.
Over the past couple of weeks a lot of people have been asking me this question, so I decided to explore why I struggle with this question and I came up with a few theories. (I’ve also been reading a lot of Chimamanda, so please forgive me if I plagiarise).
“The Accountability Theory” – I know what I want to do, but I’m too scared to say it because then I am accountable to it. What if I get bogged down by life and decide not to do it, or what if I really do go for and it fails?
“The But Why Theory” – Why do you want to know what I want to do, if I tell you this, what are you going to do with this information? Will you judge me because what I want to do, only very few people are successful at it?
“C’est la vie Theory”– (the one we shall further explore) – I actually don’t know what I want to do. I just do what I need to do. As long as it pays the bills, allows me to shop, support others at home and puts a roof over my head and I get a pay rise each year, I’m content.
I am not wired to do what I feel like doing e.g. take a break from life/work and travel for a year. I am wired to work hard through the struggle and think of others who may need my help. My upbringing says it is not normal to quit your job and do what you love. E.g. I was horrible in maths, I hated maths. I didn’t get it (I know, funny, she works in banking). My maths teacher looked my father in the eye and told him Mati will struggle with A level maths, she’s already struggling with O level maths. One lecture from Dad about how maths will open doors and how I need to quit that modelling and fashion nonsense, I was back in A level maths. I like how Chimamanda summarises it, ‘I am wired to take the roads that life dictates to me, not to dictate to life the roads I shall take’. The irony is that I now live in a world that says …you are free to be who you want to be, dream big, the opportunities are endless. I also married a man who says stop thinking about all the “what ifs”, just do what you want to do babe”. Eg: quit your job if you hate it, and pursue your fashion business, we’ll make it work” . At the end of the day I find myself constantly having internal battles over what I should do vs what I want to do.
I’m pretty sure a wise man once said “freedom is an amazing thing if you know what to do with it. (Not sure I could be making that up). What best to represent freedom than a pair of loose-fitting comfortable Palazzo pants. Just the word “Palazzo” makes me happy. It takes me to the streets of Peru, surrounded by free spirits dancing all night… I digress. If you don’t have a pair , get some! Mine are from River Island Online.They look good on everyone. If you don’t have hips, they create hips, if you do have them they accentuate them beautifully. The crop knit I secretly got from H&M (secretly because I initially hated on all those people queuing outside H&M when it opened in Melbourne). The heels are from Zara, a pop of blue, and that head tie, well its really an old top of mine. Figured I’d re-invent before it retires.