Deciding What We Truly Want

By Devina Gunawan

We are free to choose our paths, whatever they may be. We were born alone and free to write our own stories and choose our destination; however, a lot of the times we forget as we grow up.

We tend to believe that we were born to please others, to blend into the society, to fall into their expectations, and to build a life that is ‘expected’ of us.

But we weren’t.

As much as I want to believe that my personal life choices affect the society, I know that they do not. Whether I get a PhD in Math or drop out of college, nobody truly cares. They just need stories, examples, updates to know that their power over people remains intact.

Perhaps, someday they will leave me alone.

I understand pressures and weird expectations. As a woman, I get those a lot.

But whether I want to become a wife and possibly a mother, or a career woman, or whatever else my options can give me – it is my business. And I believe that despite the expectations and pressures, I should feel free to choose what I want to do with my life.

My symbol has always been a butterfly. Because a butterfly transforms, and during its transformation, nobody tells it “Your left wing will have a beautiful red dot, and your upper right will have few shades of yellow.” Nobody helps it to get out and break free.

A butterfly is a soloist, and its transformation isn’t affected by other voices.

So in this piece my butterfly is free to choose whether it wants a life of marriage and children, or a life of career and success – or both if it wants.

Because if we try hard enough we can have them all, and if we are lucky enough. But it all depends on what we want, what we choose, and it is nobody’s damn business.

Love the society, love the people we live with, but first and foremost, love ourselves first. We are our own allies, and we make the decisions for our own lives. So go for what you truly desire, go after your dreams.

You have the power to take charge of your life, and don’t give that power to those who don’t truly understand your heart’s desire. And to be honest, whatever we do, gossips always fly. As Eleanor Roosevelt had said, “Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”

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