People love to project identities onto you. They love to be a part of the foreshadowing, to feel as though they were there before you “made it.” Maybe they were even a part of your journey, encouraging you to become the person they always knew you could be.
They are kind-hearted and well-meaning. What they want for you is success, happiness, greatness, financial stability. Like they have…
One day you announce that you are going to take some science classes. “A doctor!” They shout. “She’s going to make a wonderful doctor!” You know they would be right, you would make a great doctor if that was what you wanted to do. Part of you wants to grab onto this identity yourself, thank the heavens for finally granting you a calling. But it is premature, and you know it.
You shyly explain to them that science is simply an interest at this point, something you’re excited about. You just want to learn more about how the body works. It might lead to a profession, but it might not. Or maybe you say nothing and let them be excited for you.
But then you feel guilty because you know that their projections might not materialize. You feel even guiltier because the truth is that part of you is enjoying the praise and congratulations for finding your Thing.
When you try to register for a biology course, the admissions officer wants to know why you want to become a physician. (Did you say you wanted to become a physician?)
I hope that one day we live in a world where support and encouragement exists, even when a path doesn’t lead to a prestigious career. I hope we live in a world where the praise is for the intellectual exploration itself, because there could be no more worthy endeavor than seeking to understand the world.
Do people place projections on you when you show interest in an area? How does this make you feel?