Growing up, my mom was always supportive of my career aspirations. When I showed an interest in writing, she bought me notebooks and special pens to encourage me. When I told her I wanted to act, she took me to the National Theatre School a province away to see if it interested me. When I felt visual art was part of my craft, she took me to galleries to show me what was possible. She even bought me my first guitar to explore my musical inclinations.
And through it all, when my activist nature showed through, she explained to me that art can be one of the strongest tools an activist can use to change the world.
This is why I am now a proud “Professional Bohemian” – a writer / actor / musician / artist with activism streaming through everything I do.
She never once tried to convince me to follow her footsteps and become a lawyer/mediator. She knew it wasn’t right for me and knew I had to find my own path to truly be happy and fulfilled.
This seems obvious and normal to me. But not to everyone else.
Yesterday, while checking out Twitter, I noticed a couple of tweets that had gone back and forth between two women I follow. They were discussing the attitudes their parents and cultures had towards certain professions (good and bad) and how that had influenced what they now do.
Thinking back, I distinctly remember two people I went to high school with in similar circumstances. One girl’s parents were threatening to not pay for her university education if she didn’t go into the program they wanted.
The other girl was in my drama class and wanted to be an actor like myself. When her parents found out that my mom was a lawyer (their preferred profession for their daughter), they grilled me on why I would rather be an actor. It was uncomfortable to say the least…although I was completely honest.
So even in this day when women in our society are supposedly free to choose their own paths, how many of us really do?
Did you? Will you?