following your own path will lead you to where you want

Hido - Portland, Maine
Entered on March 6, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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Following your path will lead you to where you want

In my culture, parents make decisions for their children, but I’ve never believed that. Every time I argue with my aunt, she used to say that I will bring bad luck to my family if I continue disagreeing with her. I tried to convince my aunt that I should make my own decisions because I can learn from them. I believe that you should do what you want, not what other people want you to do.

Having my mom tell me what to do is not as easy as it sounds. When I was in Kenya, I was so excited to see my mom again and also to be the only girl going to America in my family. I was seven years old when my mom and I were separated. I never saw my mom again until I was thirteen years old, but she used to call me. In my second week in America, my mom and I went to the store to buy me new clothes. By the time my mom stepped in the store, she started to go through the clothes and pick out what she wanted me to wear. I was a angry at my mom because she wanted me to wear more traditional Muslim clothing – clothes that cover from head to toe. One night I told my mom that I needed jeans because my jeans didn’t fit me anymore. She told me that she would rather die than buy jeans for me. My mom loathed jeans because it’s against our religion to wear them. My mom lets me wear jeans now because she wants to see me happy.

My mom has always wanted me to be a doctor, but I had other things in mind. I want to be a therapist, just like my aunts and uncles. Some nights my mom and I talk about school. She says being a doctor is better than being a therapist. My mom wants me to be a doctor because she has a lot of health problems. I know my mom would support me in whatever I decide to be in the future. Some people might say, be like your other siblings, but what they don’t know is that I don’t think the same as my siblings.

My mom says education never ends. I agree with her, but I have to choose where I am going to go to college. Once, I argued with my mom that I will not spend my whole life in school, and at that moment I knew that was a bad idea. My mom said that I will go twelve years of college, then go to some classes until she dies, and then I can change my mind. Some of my family members think that I will not go to college like some other Somalian girls, but they can’t read my mind; no one can. Because my mom doesn’t want me to be a therapist and I don’t want to be a doctor, I changed my mind and decided that I want to be a scientist. I do want to be a traditional Somalian girl, but also I want my future to be perfect even though that doesn’t happen often. I want my family to be proud of me, and I want to discover who I really am. Sometimes life doesn’t work as you’ve planned, but one thing you should know is that you can always find another solution.

I believe that having to make your own decisions will help you make better decisions in the future. I may not make the best decisions, but I know that I will learn from my mistakes. People might say I am not as good as the other children, but I know which path I am taking: I am taking the path that will lead me to my dreams, the path that will change my whole life, the path that will make my wishes come true just as the falling star passes me by.