“Become what you are not yet” – Saint Augustine. When you daydream, who do you hope to become in the future?
When I daydream, I see myself as a successful dentist who has opened her own dental office alongside her closest friends. I see myself breaking barriers and stereotypes that say first generation americans and college students can not achieve great success. When I daydream, I see myself with the loving family that I always wished for and as a mother who is both strong and confident. However, I realize in all this that I face to very different alternatives: I can keep daydreaming or I can take action.
This past summer I took action when I had the opportunity to volunteer at a dental office where I was able to interact with the patients and watch the doctor perform procedures, spending eight hours of my day living my daydream. I enjoyed everything, from sorting patient files to watching the most complex of procedures. I soon started to look forward to interacting with the patients everyday. One of the main reasons why I loved talking to the patients was that I spoke to them in Hindi since the office is located in a mostly Indian residential area. This way I was able to help those that did not speak English to fill out their forms as well as any questions or concerns the had for the doctor, even though Hindi is not my first or second language. Being able to interact with with other Indians is always a highlight of my day because that connects me to my roots and I hope to continue to do so with my patients in the future.
To further connect to my roots, I taught kids in my local sikh community how to read and write in Punjabi. For two consecutive weeks I volunteered and taught the U12 class our native language. By interacting with the young children I was able to live out my daydream in which I imagined myself as a strong and confident mother. I did this by not only teaching Punjabi, but also teaching the kids how to stand up for themselves because Sikhs are frequently bullied in schools. Indeed, I wanted them to start believing from a young age that they are unstoppable and no one, not even a bully, can tell them any different; I formed such a strong bond with them that they were my family, helping me live out yet another piece of my daydream.
Through volunteering in my community, I am able to live out my daydreams. I am able to become a well rounded, young, and independent woman. As Saint Augustine suggests, I am becoming what I am not yet.