"People have been to the moon. I can do anything I want.
Who are you to tell me I can't?"
When I was little, there were always scenes replaying in my mind of a life I didn't have yet. If you asked any child at my age what they wanted to be when they grew up, you would virtually get the same answer:
"I wanna be a doctor."
"I'm going to be a lawyer."
Myself, I never had a definite answer because there was so much that I could imagine myself doing. I could never decide on one.
Once I started playing basketball seriously, I was leaning towards a professional career. I would watch as many WNBA & NCAAW games as I could. I was a diehard fan for the Houston Comets (Sheryl Swoopes & Tina Thompson were so dope to me!). As far as college hoops, I rocked with Pat Summit and the Lady Vols all day long although I shared an affinity for Geno and the Lady Huskies.
As is true form for me though, I eventually lost interest in hoops and my dream to play for both the Lady Vols and the Comets. I found another passion that I wanted to pursue. By my freshman year of high school I had already decided what college I would go to and when the time came, I applied and was accepted. As I sat at my desk and read the acceptance letter over and over, reality set in. I, nor my parents could afford this school. Financial aid didn't prove to be much help unless you call $30,000 per semester in loan money assistance.
Rejecting that school was a tough decision for me. I was at a crossroad in my life, staring my destiny in the face. I did not want to put that financial pressure on neither myself nor my parents. As a result, I accepted a basketball scholarship to a junior college 20 minutes away from my house. There are times when I regret my decision because I feel as if I took the easy way out. A lot of my peers were struggling to make it work (the even bigger question here is why do students have to struggle to better themselves anyway). Who was I to think I didn't have to do the same? I feel as if I robbed myself of the college experience I would have received at my first (and only) choice. Other times, I am at ease with my choice because I met some wonderful people that led to a few opportunities for myself.
Since my graduation, I am at yet another crossroad, stuck between putting my degree to work immediately or furthering my education at the graduate level. The issue with the latter lies in the money--again as well as the resounding 'No' that I have heard from the adults in my life. Let me rephrase because all but one actually said no. With the others, it was implied. They don't think it 'safe' for me to travel as far as I want to go.
"What's wrong with going to school here?" Because it's not there...
"Why so far?" Because it's where I want to be...
Why is it acceptable for a man to be granted his autonomy but when it comes to women, something simple like relocating to start a life is frowned upon? Why are things suddenly unsafe then? Why are people so afraid to branch outside of the confines of their state's line? There is so much world to see and people are content in staying in the same place forever.
Often times I let fear prevent me from doing a lot. Deep down, I yearn to be a carefree individual. I want to do things when I feel like it because I feel like it, not waiting around for the unnecessary approval of someone else.
I'm working on letting go.
The quote at the beginning of the post is one that has been floating around in my mind for the better half of two weeks now. It tells me that the sky is not the limit and that whatever my dream may be, I can have it. I cannot continue to live my life making sure everyone else around me is satisfied because in the end, I'm the one who has to live with the results.
"You're never stuck even when you think you're stuck. Usually it just means you let fear take over the wheel."
~Arielle Loren via Twitter
I don't want to be afraid anymore.