limited

Some days I feel extremely limited. Limited through the choices I made in life so far. I ask myself why I studied industrial engineering instead of all the other things that were out there? And the answer is very simple. Because I didn’t think for myself back then. I may have thought so but I did not do so fully. I listened to what my mother said. What her friends said but not enough to what was within me.

Sure, being an engineer is fine but I discovered too late in my studies that the industrial part was too blah and boring for me and I should have studied mechanical engineering instead. But then again, why limit myself to engineering?

All Mini!Me ever wanted to become was a private investigator. Where other girls wanted to become veterinarians or teachers and boys wanted to be firefighters, I wanted to solve crimes and mysteries. While I understand solving crimes is not as glamorous or neat in real life as it is in books, it was what I wanted to be. But I didn’t pay enough attention to myself. Instead I let other people tell me this would not be the right fit for me and went with it. I will never know if I would have made a good detective or hated it but I feel sad because I will never know.

When it was time for me to choose a degree I didn’t know what anthropology was but I do now and part of me really wants to study bones. I want to be able to hold a femur in my hand and be able to tell if it’s been dead for 5 or 20 years; if it belongs to a woman or a man. Skeletons have never freaked me out. In my ergonomics class the teacher once brought a plastic replica of a shoulder-arm system with muscles attached and that I could not look at. Tissue, muscles, nope, that’s really not my metier but bones I’m fine with. Bring on the skeletons.

I guess it is stupid to live in this what-if stage because it is. Things have happened and I can’t take anything back and there is not a lot I even want to take back. But sometimes I wonder if these things would have made a difference for me. There is so much stuff I will never know, even if I read all the books I will never be a physical anthropologist. I will never solve crimes. I will never…

I feel limited in my knowledge. I want to be able to talk about evolution like I just ingested an encyclopaedia, discuss literature with the brightest minds of my generation and so many things more. Sure, I don’t have to stay an engineer all my life, who knows where life will lead me but sometimes I just feel like I messed up on this huge life decision because I couldn’t be bothered to think about it for two seconds. I heard something that vaguely interested me and went with because it was so much easier than thinking and making a case of myself, which is stupid.

There are people who would argue that learning is a life-long process and they are right. I learn something new every day. But I won’t find myself structurally studying literature or anthropology anytime soon or ever because of time and effort. But also because I may be bright but I’m not that smart and I was actually happy to be done with my degree last year.

I guess part of me is making this too complicated a thing. I can’t be everything because despite how much I don’t want it to be true, I am limited; my time on this earth is limited and despite my wanting to make a difference I know I will hardly make one. Not globally at least. Maybe I make a difference in some people’s lives and really, that should be enough, right? I guess part of my problem is oftentimes that I aim way too high for what is realistic for me to achieve.

Simliar to what I said in my post on blogging idols though, we – -or at least I – need to aim high to know where I’m going. Without it, I will forever be wandering aimlessly through this life. So I guess realising my limitations is better than not having any goals at all.

I am as much a person of my choices, however misguided they may have been, and the nurturing forces I grew up with as I am of my DNA row which I am far from responsible for. And honestly I would’t want to not be me right now. Sure, trying on different lives may be fun for a brief amount of time but in the end, I always come back to myself. There is only so much wiggle room until I lose myself and what makes me uniquely me. Sometimes I just have to write these things down to be able to remind myself of them at a later point in time.

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  • wlreed

    OK, way late on this one but I’m trying to catch up on what I miss during the week. This is so easy to relate to on so many levels. I think as you get older you always wonder about the path not taken (I know I do, at least). And sometimes it’s things you wouldn’t change even if you could, but make your life entirely different and you can’t help but wonder. I always wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t gotten pregnant, even though I wouldn’t trade my son for anything. If I had been able to finish a degree plan. I wonder right now if staying in my current job is right for me, even though I’ve been there ten years.

    I think we all feel limited, to an extent. That’s just part of being human. But the fact that you want more, and wonder about more says so much about you. Too many people are willing to accept what they have and never wonder about what else might be out there. It’s a fine line between being complacent with what you have and obsessing over what you left behind. But a little wondering what else there is, to me, is what leads people to take chances. Maybe they don’t work out, but there’s that saying that you regret 100% of the things you don’t do (or something like that). Sometimes things go totally wrong, but if you try something new it can take you to wonderful places.

    So, that’s kind of a word vomit to say I agree with everything here, and it makes you a person. Wonderful piece

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Word vomit is always appreciated here. Like you said, I am content with where I am but I would still like to know what my life would be like if I did this differently or figured things out sooner. But living in what ifs and/or the past isn’t healthy either, as a very wise woman recently told me.

  • cupitonians

    I can totally relate to this. It’s easy for people to look at our lives and think it is spectacular but we’re doing the same with some other people and basically, grass is greener. Most important thing though is that we keep striving to be more, do more, learn more. Without that urge, how boring would our lives be? Yet again you prove that in so many ways we are similar!

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      We probably wouldn’t get along so well if we weren’t in some way similar. Grass is always greener on the other side and we always want what we can’t have, that’s a fact. It may be stupid but it’s true.