As a driver of my own destiny, I have always thought I had the right map to move forward. I always believed my destination was meant to be different, a road never taken before, one with inspiration and acknowledgement, perhaps even stories to be told for generations to come.
I found my map to the road young, with my passion for cars and business attired Barbie. I was determined to be unique and different and to challenge my society.
I’ve grown, believing in my core that my map was the only right one. I never questioned my direction, and as I stopped for essentials of life, I made sure to pat myself for knowing I will be different and I am unique and true.
Those my age had the façade of obediently following the “care what people say” while I followed my heart, my beliefs and my values.
I thought I can change the world, and I one day will inspire and make a difference.
“Why should I care about people and why should they care about me?” ~ Folklore Gulf song by Ahmed Al Jumairi **
I grew to see different women in different occasions dance to this folkloric song, swaying their shoulders left and right in shy fellowship to the words “why should I care about people” yet their eyes scan the room of eyes which return the gaze with approval to the beat, perhaps, not the words.
They go back home, they resume their lives and they forget those words…I never did; until recently.
Along the path of 27 miles, I found a cross-road. Usually, I would just glance quickly at the map to ensure my hunch is true and carry straightforward along the way. This time, I stopped.
I opened the map, looked at the miles I have crossed, the things I have done and seen and the people I have met. I then thought of my routes, and examined the directions possible to me. I was questioning the thing I believed in most: my uniqueness.
Suddenly, the journey seemed pointless and I longed to sit along the grass with everyone else and let life take its course.
I wanted to be like them, live and follow the rules. Not be too ambitious or expect life to be the way I have illustrated in my play time with Barbies and car toys.
I noticed a car racing alone in the same direction. The lyrics to Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop ‘till You Get Enough was loudly fighting its way through the music that accompanies it when the driver stopped.
“Hey, need a lift?” the driver asked “Oh no, just examining my route.” “You do seem lost to me, I can guide you if you’d like?”
“Where are you heading?” I found myself asking, “Oh, to my original path, to be me” the driver exclaimed, almost suggesting the answer to be obvious.
I folded my map, smiled and lifted my index finger to the same direction “that way? Me too”.
“When you’re different, sometimes you don’t see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn’t.” ~ Jodi Picoult
**A link to the song for those interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lejVe5b36Kk