Questions I Can't Answer

And Answers I Can't Question

When you're five, everyone always asks you with a sweet yet condescending smile, "So what do you want to be when you grow up?" And you smile big back because you are wrapped in the snug security blanket of knowledge that your world is as wide and boundless as the gap between your two front teeth before your adulthood grows in. You say, "I'm gonna be a singer, I'm gonna be a writer, I'm gonna be an actress, dancer, athlete, superhero, astronaut, supermodel, artist, fashion designer.

But then you turn sixteen and suddenly everyone turns to you with a serious expression and asks, "Where are you going to college? What are you going to major in? What are you going to be?" And it's not the same question. It's not the same question at all. So you say, "I'm going to be a student, I'm going to be a teacher, I'm going to be doctor, lawyer, scientist, entrepreneur, orthodontist, secretary. I'm going to be a mother. I'm going to be a wife. I'm going to be an adult. I am all grown-up, and I honestly don't know what I want to be." And it's not the same answer anymore. No, it's not the same answer at all.

I want to scream, "Hey, what happened to the questions I could answer? Because I honestly don't know anymore." They say, "Who are you going to be?" and I cry, "What if I like who I am?" So I say I'm going to be a writer, I'm going to be a singer, I'm going to be an actress, I'm going to be myself. And I refuse to change my answer. I refuse to change my answer anymore.