A top pick from one of the most frequently asked questions, I’m going to say from age 3, “Who do you want to be when you grow up?”
What’s wrong with who I am? Simple, yet unsaid.
A lot of questions raced through my mind while listening to Shane Koyczan’s TED talk – a plea for more acceptance, more courage, more oneness. One thing he said, struck a cord with me, something I’m sure not a lot of us have thought of. We all talk about the negative connotations or labels, we as people get throughout our lives – skinny stick, stupid, naive, shameless, impractical, unrealistic, some of the many of which only I have earned; but have we ever thought about the fact that not only us, but our dreams too get labelled – stupid, unrealistic, impractical among the many responses to the answers of the very question that we are asked again and again, “Who do you want to be?”
Writing. The essence of me, my purpose, it’s not something I’ve taken to just recently – it’s something that has been a part of me from my very early days. Writing essays and descriptive POVs on Shakespeare, decoding poetry through my own words, these are my most cherished memories from school. I was lucky enough to be nurtured into a larger love for the English language, not only by my school teachers, who recognized my love for words and stories, but also my grandmother, who was the epitome of literature and storytelling in my life. I started believing my worth in words, when my school teacher, Mrs Joshi, started reading out my essays in class, to a time when she even had our Principal, Mrs Matthew, take some time to read a couple of them. And so, from then my love for words turned into a full bloomed romance, a saga I live through even today.
But if you asked me then who do you want to be? A writer, would have been a misplaced thought. And yet, I did just exactly that – write. My poems, my essays, my excerpts, all to myself, till one day I decided to become a part of a non-profit foundation, one that sponsored education for girls whose families couldn’t afford to support them, whose background was filled with hardships yet determination. Their experiences were so real, so inspiring, they couldn’t be left untold. So, I began to tell them – their lives, my words, and more stories.
Many years, many dreams later, and after many versions of me, today, I am a writer. I wish I could say this was a journey of my determination, where I persisted and persevered to prove others wrong, to prove that becoming a writer is a realistic dream, that it’s real, that I know in my heart this is who I want to be. Unfortunately not.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It took me many roads to explore who I want to be. It took me until recently to realize and own the writer in me. It took me enormous amounts of self-awareness and dedication to act like one. In all of this, what did help me is, I never stopped writing. Today I live in the world of data, information design, and visualization, marketing for the most part – it’s what I came to New York to become, a marketeer, a storyteller.
Somewhere along that journey, a great many conversations after, bundled with self – awareness and purpose, I still believe in the power of a good story, and all I want to do, is tell it.
Today, I look for stories – in numbers, in people, and in experiences, day or night that’s what I look to do – tell the story. So here I am, marketer by day, writer by everything else, but above all, a storyteller.
Here’s my medium, and my writing, a million stories to explore, and many more ideas to translate, execute.
The reason – it’s who I want to be – a conduit for sharing stories and experiences, building connections. This is what drives me, makes me.
Although I may not have known how to get here, although this may not even be the final destination, I want you to know that in your story, it’s never the end until you say it is. And you know why? Because you are the storyteller and it is your story. You design it.
Don’t look for answers to people’s questions, look for questions that drive you, reasons that shape you.
Because if you have a dream, a real passion for something, you will find the answers;
because the how is rarely as significant as the why;
and because, if you have a why you will always most definitely find a how.