Live a little

When I was younger, I wanted to be a doctor. In retrospect, I do not think this was because I loved the practice or anything; I actually realized later on I could not stand the sight of blood. I wanted to be a doctor because growing up, we were told both at home and at school, that doctors, lawyers, pilots and engineers were the ‘sky limit careers’ we should aim for. That was the bar. Teachers were considered a poor lot and teaching the last, last option. Now I’m a Human Resource Management Graduate working as a Program Assistant is a community Development oriented organization running mostly communication, monitoring and evaluation tasks. Go figure. When I was little, I had no idea either existed. My fall back plan was law ☺
When I was younger, I would never walk around after the lights went off and everyone was asleep. See, mum was – still is- an avid reader and she got us this big bedtime storybook with 365 stories. I read one story each night. In one of the stories, this little girl would hear noises in the night when everyone was asleep. Unlike me, she was a brave one. She walked up to the kitchen door and snuck a peek and voila their whole kitchen had come to life! It was the spoons, the stove, the pans….that were doing all the talking and get this-having a party! They would go ‘back to normal’ at first light. My little mind was excited when the story was read but froze over when I heard any sound after lights out. I would cover my head, hide under the covers and sing myself to sleep because in my version, the house and all in it were now alive and they might be coming for me. Haha! Yes, I did and still do have a mind with a life of its own ☺
When I was younger, I had a single view of many things. What Chimamanda would call my ‘one story’. I only knew one way of how to do things. What I knew, I saw and what I believed, I heard from those around me. So I would probably be a blood fearing doctor just now (haha!) and I would still believe things came alive at night, and therefore be afraid of the dark…and of the kitchen. In many ways, we had one story, one view of something that we only discovered was not the actual truth after we travelled down a different path. Such is what growing up brings.
I realize I have many ‘single stories’, attitudes and beliefs on a lot of things, experiences, people, places…of myself that don’t really hold water. Slowly, I’m learning new perspectives, forming new belief systems, understanding people, things and situations differently and maybe, dare I say, better because I’m getting to hear other stories. I’m getting to write one too….my own. We will always fear the unknown in a way but not everything in the unknown is out to get us right? There is nothing that comes alive in the darkness that is the unknown to ‘get you’ (well maybe there is but I’m setting a motivating aura here haha) …there is no reason to hide under the covers and sing ourselves away from embracing what could be our next big thing. And there is the light switch that is opening up our minds to the possibility that where not everything we know works, perhaps something waiting to be known will.
Here’s to learning new stories, breaking free of the danger that is living, believing and never questioning the single story. Here’s to learning, to creating change, to living a little – just a little. ☺