Who decides course of my life?

I had a series of interesting conversations with my paternal grandparents in relation to obtaining higher education.

At the end of my undergraduate degree, I visited my grandparents and we went for a walk along the lake for a change. I was assisting my grandmother so I had her on my left. Then, suddenly my grandfather joined us on my right, holding my right elbow. They were simply curious about my future career after graduating from an undergraduate degree. At that time, this was the question I asked myself. I was uncertain of my path but I was very sure that I didn’t want to do further study. Following were our conversation.
Grandma: So, have you decided on what you want to do after graduating?
Me: No. Not at all.
Grandfather: Have you considered further study?
Me: No. I had enough studying in my undergraduate degree. I don’t want to study any more.
Grandma: So what do you want to do?
Me: I will ponder for awhile. My parents had suggested me to assist them running their business.
Grandma: You know what? Girls in modern days should attend further studies.
Me: Nah. I am not going to do that.
Grandfather: Why? It is very important qualification.
Me: I am not into it anymore. I had enough studying.
Grandma: Well, many modern girls have obtained their master degrees so I think you should seriously consider it as an option.
Me: Well, but what shall I study?
Grandfather: Anything that interest you. Just get that qualification.
Me: What do I do with it after graduating from it?
Grandmother: Well, you consider it when you graduate from it.
Me: I will consider it but I don’t think I will continue studying because I am so sick of it.

Alright. At that time, they were happy that I’ve answered them that I am going to consider it. However, I was still pondering about it and didn’t know what to do. Then, I had discussed with my parents and eventually found what I wanted to do but that’s another story.

A year also later, I was discussing with my grandparents whether I should continue study or not.
Grandmother: Well, we allowed your father to study as much as he liked so he should allow you to do the same.
Me: Really? Do you think so?
Grandmother: If he disagree with this, tell him to come and see me. I will have a talk with him.

I think for their age, my grandparents regarded obtaining qualifications as the highest priority for youth. Instead of denying purpose of education, they fully supported my study, until that day.

Years later, I’ve obtained a master degree and I was pursuing my second master degree by doing a research. I have chosen this path as a preparation for doctoral study.
One afternoon, I visited my grandmother and she commented again about my higher education.
Grandmother: So when are you intended to graduate from what you are studying at moment?
Me: Soon. I think.
Grandmother: So, what’s your plan after graduating from your research higher degree?
Me: Well, I will pursuit my dream of further research studies.
Grandmother: What? You are going to study more?
Me: Yes.
Grandmother: Well, you know, girls who are over qualified are less likely to be favoured by boys. They wouldn’t like someone more qualified than themselves. Are you aware that by studying more, you are lowering your odds?
Me: Well, that’s sad they can only see me in that way. Unfortunately, I am not going to change my career and I really like what I am doing at moment.
Grandmother: You really have to consider marriage now. You’re in your good age.
Me: Grandmother, thank you so much for you to suggest this path to me that afternoon. That had set my course of life and I am really enjoying it.

It was very interesting how my age, gender, and education were interrelated in some way. In comparison to others, I was very fortunate to have my grandparents who fully supported me until recent years. I was surprise that I am living my dream researching.

Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.

There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right.

To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I look back on the first occasion when I was walking with my grandparents along the lake, I want to tell myself “Because I am living my dream now, you have made a right decision.” Although things happened as facts of life, many people told me that I am on a wrong path because I did not progress as fast as they like me to be. There were many times I doubt my ability to continue working on this path. However, I am certain that I will reach my end point one day without regret of spending all these years studying research.

What is the course of life that you have decided upon?
Are you moving closer to where you want to be each day?
Are you advancing when you compared to yourself yesterday?

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