I was just at N.I.L's blog, reading some of her earlier posts and I came across a post she titled COULD have; SHOULD have; WOULD have........?! This post got me thinking mehn.
Remember when you were young and bright eyed? When the world was truly your oyster? Then slowly, slowly, with life and the help of the influential people in your life, your dreams were crushed. You became more and more inhibited, then eventually you settled for less than your dream.
Not that I'm saying this is the case for everyone, but I'm sure many can relate. When I was young I used to dream of being an actress. I was really good in drama too. When it came time to choose my GCSE's I knew exactly what I wanted to pick. I had it all figured. Drama, Art, French, and English (Literature and Language) were my favourites. Well, it wasn't to be. My parents weren't having none of it! They insisted I would take Double Science (I detested science beyond words). They didn't want to hear me out about art. "Eh? Art? What is art? Is that what we sent you to school to do? To be drawing with crayon?". "Drama ke? Kini drama? Mscheww!" (Lol).
I was also very good at sports. I was a natural at tennis and was fast improving in athletics. I used to do the high jump and 200 meters for my team on sports day. The high jump was a total surprise to me and my P.E. teacher. I loved it and she pushed me as far as she could. But again, my parents didn't want to know. My dad had the mentality that he hadn't suffered all he'd suffered to bring his wife over here, settle his family here, for his children to just be playing yeye sports. It was science! And that was that.
So unfortunately, my Olympic and Oscar dreams were squashed before they could even take off.
So as you can guess, I did the Double Science. Managed to get a grade C (which I consider a major achievement considering how much I hated it). I managed to persuade them to let me take French GCSE. I then went on to do Biology, Chemistry and English Literature (thank God for small mercies - LOL!) as A-levels. After doing Biology and Chemistry for a year, I just couldn't take it anymore. I wrote a letter to my mum telling her just how much I hated these subjects and that I was not going to continue with them in my second year. She didn't take it very well. But I stuck to my guns (well sort of). I ended up taking Psychology and Sociology in their place, with some hope of still pleasing my parents with some sort of doctorate at the eventual end.
After the fiasco with me, my parents had an epiphany and decided to let my siblings choose for themselves (under their advisement of course). Well, at least those that came after me didn't have to suffer the same fate as me I guess.
While I was thinking about my "shoulda, coulda, woulda's" I thought of how many things I loved and dreamed of doing then. I thought of how important the role of a parent is in shaping their child's life.
If only...I do sit and wonder sometimes where I would be today if my parents actually noticed my gifts as a child. Where would I be today? My story could have been so different. Yeah I said it. It could have been so different. *big sigh*.
Anyway, life goes on. I'm not doing bad considering and some things I still wish to pursue (sorry, neither the Olympic nor Oscar dreams shall be resurrecting themselves - lol). But there are other things that I can and still will pursue. Like French for example.
Now I watch my son and I'm so impressed by him. Perhaps my own experience has served (if nothing else) as a lesson in recognizing, nurturing and cultivating gifts in my own children. He is truly gifted in art and he's a whiz at maths. We recently discovered he's really good at football too. That came out of nowhere, a bit like the high jump did for me in secondary school.
I'm not bitter towards my parents (although I was for a very long time). I now accept that they did what they thought was best. I'm very pleased to see that they've somewhat learned their own lessons through it too. One of the things that tickles me now is that my dad is so eager to encourage my son in the area of sports. Namely tennis and golf (I'm trying hard not to think it has anything to do with the Williams sisters and Tiger Woods. LOL!). They also both notice my son's gifts and talents and really make a fuss over him because of them (makes my heart smile).
Well, I thank God I'm still here and I still have dreams to fulfill all the same.
With that said, parents, notice your children's gifts and nurture and cultivate them. Help them to point their arrows in the right direction. That's what we're all here for.