She asks me. She, a woman in her 30s, whilst cutting my hair.
“I’m a web design and engineering major.” I don’t have to even think. I respond like a robot that is only programmed to answer that question. It’s engrained on my forehead and it’s the only thing I know when the word “major” is presented to me.
She responds, “Wow your parents must be proud.”
I wanted to say yes so badly.
But I couldn’t.
Instead I smiled. The fake kind, where my dimple appears ever so slightly.
And this is exactly why I am not doing this anymore. I am 20 years old and I have the world to discover. I am no longer an engineer not because it was too hard, but because I am disinterested. I had something to prove, to my peers, my family in India, my parents and the world.
Now I have a purpose. I don’t have anything to prove. I have something to live for.
Am I scared for when my uncle from India calls me and asks me what I’m doing at a beautiful university in the Silicon Valley with engineering?
Yes. I am. After spending years talking about science and math with him? Disappointment is what I have to look forward to. But that won’t stop me.
Am I scared for when I have to job hunt instead of having jobs handed over to me?
But it’s not a job at this point. It’s my life. It’s my PASSION. Not a job. And a passion is worth so much more.
Am I scared for when my engineering guy friends will say “I knew you would change your major! We knew you couldn’t do it.” So scared. But does it matter?
Not at all. I am chasing my dream, what are you doing?
Am I scared for when people attach a connotation of stupidity and superficial ness with my new major?
Of course. But I know I’m smart and that’s all I need.
Am I scared and worried about my parents because now they’re so worried about my future?
Yeah. A lot. But I will make my parents proud. And it does NOT have to be with engineering. It will be with kindness, gratitude, and happiness.
Gratitude is all I have for this realization.
I will graduate college. I will do something with my life. I can’t wait to start living instead of surviving. I can’t wait to see what I can do with my talents and with all the people that love me around me.
I am so excited for life, after so long.
“Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?”
Because I just remembered. And boy, I couldn’t be happier.
– Levina Robin