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Vad är din grej, Charlie?

Charlie är 22 år, kommer från Saltsjöbaden och läser kandidatprogrammet i Business & Economics. Här kan du läsa om Charlies passion.

"The meaning of life has always been, to me, to be something. A movie star. An FBI agent. An astrophysicist. A prodigy my parents could feel proud of. I have known I am meant to be something for as long as I have had a consciousness, but I have yet to learn exactly what I’m supposed to be.

I have been lucky so far. My family is supporting and often loving. I inherited my parents’ brains, finding numbers and complex theories both easy and interesting. I have been told that I’m good-looking. Is that what I am meant to be, then? A pretty kid from a rich family getting rich through inherited money?

The search for my ideal self has taken up most of my time this past decade. Since I don’t know who I’m meant to be yet, I try to prepare for all eventualities. 

Maybe I am supposed to be an athlete? Even though this seems unlikely as I’m still unknown and nearing my mid-twenties, I keep at my rock climbing with a fierce passion. I might not be great – might not even be good– but I am strong, and I meet my friends at the gym, and I am healthy, so maybe that is enough.

Perhaps I am supposed be an activist? I doubt it, as I have realized that I suffer from terrible stage fright, yet I signed up for holding a TEDx-talk about gender identities, and I became a vegan for the environment, and I read books about feminism and its history. I don’t agree with all that is being said in any of the topics, but they are interesting, and they feel like they matter, and engaging with them makes me more caring, so I keep doing it.

Could be that I am supposed be a corporate manager? Probably not. I’m not sitting on a billion-dollar idea that could make me a successful entrepreneur, I don’t think I have the charisma (or gender) that would get me all the way to the top. I still start studying at the Stockholm School of Economics, and try to build a network with everyone I meet. It opens a lot of doors, and the faculty tries to be open and inclusive, and my intelligence is challenged in a way that makes me clever like never before, so I stay.

Possibly I am meant to be a writer. It feels right, somehow. Words come to me in the dead of night, in early morning, in late afternoon. I dream of things that may be ore never were, stories that are made to be retold. So I write, and I imagine, and I dream, and I write again. I have not published anything, have only sent in one short story to a competition. It brings me peace, however, and provides an outlet for emotions I would not know how to sort otherwise, and lets me be creative, and that is all I need.

I don’t know who I am meant to be. I am, however, starting to understand that there might be a big difference between being someone as in what I doand being someone as in what I am. I might not be an athlete, or an activist, or a manager, or even a writer. However, I am healthy, and caring, and clever, and creative, and being those things makes me happy.

I haven’t the faintest clue what I’m going to work with once I graduate. I don’t know which profession I will have, or who I will be in ten years. What I do know is what I will hopefully be, what I will always strive to be.

Happy.

tedx talk: Charlie bech-jansen

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