I just took a break from an intensive study session: It’s all so much information! And I am laughing at myself for the life I chose. As the west-African expression says “Who sent me message?”
It is however in these candid moments that I reflect the most on my career path.
To think that, had I listened to most people, I’d be standing in front of my mirror asking myself “Why did I give up becoming a pilot ?”
From the silent nights with tears flowing down my astigmatic eyes pondering on discouraging statements like “You can’t become a pilot; you wear glasses” or infuriating comments like “you did not get an A in your Physics A-levels, how do you think you can survive flight school ?”, I’m glad I did not take anybody’s advice. It surely was God’s way to guard my heart and save my dream.
I learnt much later in life that I was right for sticking with my vision, even when I had no idea how tumultuous the journey could be.
I have met countless people who did not get the chance to be this stubborn. Many men and women have said to me before: “When I was younger, I wanted to become a pilot BUT…” and here comes a list of valid reasons, that in my humble opinion, are all linked to other individuals’ erroneous advice. The irony is, they grow up to realize that these people truly knew nothing about the job. As a matter of fact, generally, they were neither pilots nor knew any.
I also noticed that human beings have the unfortunate tendency to share their unsolicited opinions with whoever breathes, and it is sad that more often than not, it affects others’ drive, self-esteem, and sometimes their plans.
“I don’t like the way you dress for work.”
“You shouldn’t open a business in such a critical economy.”
“If you quit this company, you won’t get a better job.”
“You don’t work enough; when I was your age, I was doing twice as much work.”
“You should settle down now, or you won’t find anyone later.”
To whoever has been a recipient or even donor of such killjoy words, remember that life is not linear. Everyone is on an individual journey that requires authenticity, and projecting your expectations or failures on anybody else, would most likely lead you to disappointment.
Not to discredit the few genuinely caring souls who give advice from a place of love and wisdom, but remember to never take advice from a tree that bears no fruit.
Sidenote (First of all, Physics A-level is nobody’s friend. Why would you expect a teenager to master quantum physics ??? We nailed it though.)