Rediscovering myself through different fields of study: Passion found, lost and rekindled

Dreams are often glorified as transcendental, something that propels one to thrive in life. Throughout my life, I have been set out on a quest to find my own dream. Not the dreams I see with closed eyes in repose—which were, woefully, harrowing most of the time—but dreams I see with my farsight, the passion and ambition that could lead to prosperity. I lacked that. Whether passion, ambition or devotion, they were fleeting if not at all absent. Life was mundane and colourless, as though constantly gazing through sunglasses obstructing my sight while everyone else had a clear view of their future goals and undying passion. Everyone around my age, my friends from school and college, cousins and relatives and other acquaintances, they all had bigger plans. Some wanted to pursue medicine, some wanted to be teachers, engineers, entrepreneurs, others wanted to follow the path their parents had laid for them. 

But, what about me?

I searched, and searched aimlessly, yet my monochrome view of life would not cease, almost having me believe that I was colourblind and simply passionless. Steering a boat without a rudder, I felt like my youth slipping away with no destination for me to reach. Until there was a spark. At the end of my college year, I was introduced to psychology, the study of the human mind. Books like Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman caught my attention, podcasts and YouTube videos about psychology amplified my zeal, rendering me ambitious. And turns out, I was good at observing and analysing people with little effort—as though reading a book, I could read a person’s temperament. 

Soon after my graduation, in which I graduated in business studies, my passion for psychology would not recede. The biggest enlightenment came during a short trip to the United Kingdom, and there, I found myself. Within the cold streets and cloudless skies, amongst the reticent people and vast opportunities, I found solace. I could see myself studying psychology in one of the universities there, to become a proficient psychologist. 

Life became colourful, like a flash of prismatic ray from glass paintings on St. Paul’s Cathedral had encountered my colourless self. After my return to Bangladesh I was already counting my days to go back, but this time to pursue my dream. I searched, and I searched relentlessly, the best universities suitable for me, gave my IELTS with a promising result, and started to prepare for a life on my own. I attended various educational fairs which were offered for international students, applied for several universities, and things were starting to look up. Suddenly, all fell apart. My parents, who were acquiescent at first, all of a sudden showed disapproval of my decision. Several reasons were brought up, that my ambition was flawed, the time was not right, it would not be worth the expenses and the list went on. I was crestfallen, as

everything felt as if it was for nothing, that the colourful dream I saw was nothing more than a pipe dream and I was woken up into reality. Life turned grey, ambitionless. Nevertheless, I did enrol in one of the best private universities in the country, majoring in one of the best undergraduate programmes which was economics. This decision was not driven by passion or interest, yet it was praised by parents, relatives and teachers. Because I “made the right and rational choice” which could possibly make me prosperous with its demand career-wise. 

But was I happy? Was it my dream? 

I was not, it was not. It felt like I was playing the role of a person that was not me while chasing a dream that was not mine. Morose, I lost sight of who I was, as each day passed aggravated the sense of loss. In this situation, I realised I had to leave where I was and prioritise myself. So I shifted my major to English literature. It wasn’t psychology—which wasn’t in the list of programmes—, albeit a subject that was familiar to me. Admittedly, studying literature is not something I dreamt of, and my reading in the past was limited. At first, it was an escapism of sorts, not long after I found myself immersed in the extensive world of creation. Romantic works like John Keats, Lord Byron offered me a rhapsodic venture, gothic and dark themed stories of Edgar Allan Poe kept me thrilled, Charles Dickens’ realism as well as Orwell’s socialism made me gain greater perspectives, feminist writers like Virginia Woolf and Jane Austen who paved their way onto the top, and many, many more works, no matter which period they were written, made me rediscover myself. Amidst the compelling practice of reading and writing in BRAC

University, I started not only to become more knowledgeable, but also have a voice of expression through writing. 

But is it my calling? Am I the happiest I have ever been? 

Perhaps not, but it is who I have become and I have never been this sure of myself. There was no spark of flashing colours this time, but a slow yet certain glow radiating from within. Life once again, is colourful regardless of a different path I have taken to thrive. In the future, there might be other paths that I will take as long as I have faith in myself and find my passion to move forward. Through my quest for passion and ambition, I learned that anything that truly captivates you will take you off a million other paths that are prosperous. It may be easier to follow a well-walked path, however, it is far less satisfying to live with that quiet, knowing you were meant for something more. I have found myself and I’m still flourishing, that my whole life is preparing me to choose my ambition and I have learned to live beyond the expectations I once had for myself.