Sunday, September 30, 2012

Becoming me.

When I was younger, lots of people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I think that question might be a little misleading.  They were really asking what I wanted to do when I grew up.  But, how would I know?  What were my motives?  A desire to 'make a difference?'  Have money?  Prestige?  Perhaps, wanting to be like someone else whom I admired.

What about wanting to be me?

I never thought of that.

Not until college. . .

. . . when I first attended college, I was in the Criminal Justice program at Northeastern University.  Only a few months into my first term Dr. Lipton, one of my advisors said, "We have to get you out of Criminal Justice.  You need to be in the sciences!"

I was appalled.

From my perspective, the world was at my disposal.  I could choose to study and be anything that fancied me.  Who was he to think that he knew, better than I did, what I wanted to be?  I didn't want to become a scientist.  I wanted to become a State Trooper.

I ignored him.

You want to guess what happened?

My second year, I ended up becoming dissatisfied with my current classes.  I tried a smattering of different classes.  I liked physics.  I ended up sticking with it and changed my major officially to physics.

After making the official change in major, I had a flash back to the day I was talking to Dr. Lipton and he was telling me that I needed to get out of Criminal Justice.

He was right.

I went straight to his office and told him I had changed my major.  "I know" he said.

"What did you see so early on?  Why did you tell me that I needed to be in the sciences?"

"You're a scientist."

It was a much simpler answer than I had anticipated.

This was a new paradigm for me: the concept that I already was a certain kind of person.  I just needed to learn how to use what I already possessed.

I thought I had to choose whom I would be.

I thought I had to invent whom I would be.

I thought I had to become somebody.

It turns out, I was already me.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! If only we all had someone in our lives to tell us who we already are so we could stop being someone we're not! I think I might have to look up this Dr. Lipton fellow :)
    ~Sara Smith~