There were so many things you wanted to be when you were young, and in your little mind you always believed that you would and could be. My little guy who is 16 now had to sit down when he was 5 and write a speech for his Montessori kindergarten graduation. The topic was “When I grow up”. This was something that was being done at school as a surprise for the parents and these essays were gonna be read by them at the graduation ceremony!
A week before the ceremony we were talking about general things and I told him he could be whatever he wanted to be. He very adamantly told me he could not as it has already been decided. I was really surprised and taken back by his statement. I said “What do you mean it’s already been decided?”. Then he proceeded to tell me that he had already written down what he was gonna be and he could not change it anymore as he had already turned in his essay to the kindergarten teacher and it was way too late! I could only smile, hug him and marvel at the innocence.
He would be in his room, rehearsing and practicing and his speech and I had strict instructions that I could not enter his room. So the graduation day finally arrived and as he stood among the 50 or so kids of his graduating class I wondered what he was gonna say. Many kids got up there and they all wanted to be lawyers, engineers, scientists, there were even a few neurosurgeons (wow). I anxiously awaited my son’s turn, he got up there and said- “When I grow up, I want to be an Artist & a Chef”. I was so proud of him that he could get up there and be himself. Years later he still has a lot of interest in cooking and helps me in the kitchen all the time (except when there is basketball or football or golf or now even cricket on TV) 🙂 As an 8 year old he still loved to watch cooking shows and his eyes used to light up when he saw Indian American chefs on those shows..and would call out to me and say – “Mom, look they are making Masala Burgers”!! He was so excited when Aarti Sequeira won the Next Food Network Star, and had all kinds of questions when I showed him the article by Monica Bhide in the Food & Wine magazine on Chef Sanjeev Kapoor.
The only thing that gets in the way of us and our beliefs is US!! As we grow up, we are always told of what we can and can’t do and we start to measure everything based on those bench marks. So go ahead and embrace the little 5 yr old in you again and remind yourself that you can be all that you want to be…and it’s not too late!!
In fact it’s never too late..I will end this blog with a short story about a beautiful lady I met at my gym several years ago. She was in the pool every single day before my water aerobics class and would stay in the pool for hours. One day I went up to her and asked her, “Are you training for something” and she said “I guess you can say I am training, I am learning how to swim..something I have always wanted to do”!! I looked at her and smiled in awe. Did I tell you that beautiful young lady was 95 yrs old? That right there tells us, It’s never too late!!
At 16 now, my son wants to be involved in politics and wants to go to Law School. But who knows where his dreams & beliefs will take him, but I do still hope to be sitting one day (maybe even in Washington DC) at a table on the opening night of his restaurant called FUZZY (even though people may tell him what a crazy name)!!!
We all have TO BELIEVE!!
What did you want to be when you were 5?
Last Inspiring note: A poem written by my 10 yr old daughter(who is 20 now):
Mountains are like goals
You are determined to achieve,
You will not succeed
Unless you really do believe
Beaches are like rolling stones
Moving you towards your fears,
You will only succeed
If you rise above your tears
Mountains are like goals
Beaches are like rolling stones,
Yell in a mighty roar
Believing can make you soar