• Steph

When I Grow Up...

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

When I was seven, I would go around school telling everyone that when I grew up, I was going to be a zookeeper. I was convinced! Adults would laugh and I wouldn't get what was funny, because all remember was seeing Bindi Iwin on TV, playing with snakes, and deciding that I wanted to do that, too.

At ten, I wanted to be what everyone else in my class did when they grew up: a teacher. I mean, just imagine how much fun it'd be to boss everyone around and tell children what to do. It's a ten-year-old's dream!

At 13, I wanted to be a lawyer when I grew up, which raised some eyebrows at the dinner table. I had a strong sense of justice and I wanted to help those that were fighting the law. I'd been public speaking and debating for a couple of years and I just loved to argue. I wanted to do it for the rest of my life - I mean, I was definitely stubborn enough.

Now, at 16...

When I grow up, I want to know that I'm gonna have a planet to live on, something I didn't know was possible to be taken for granted.

I want to know that the air I'm breathing is breathable, that the water I'm drinking and the food I'm eating isn't infected with pollution and plastic. I want to know that farms, everywhere, all over the world won't be in critical drought, that animals won't be dropping dead and that ecosystems won't be collapsing. I want to know that people won't be forced to flee their homes and become climate refugees. I'm terrified, because in a world where climates are rocketing and nature is falling into a catastrophic chain of events beyond human control, all of these things will happen.

When I grow up, I want to be alive; because when I look to the future...

All I see is ashes.

- Leila :)

IG: @leilamangos

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