I once met a girl who told me she wanted to be a journalist because it was in her blood. Her parents were journalists, her grandfather was a journalist and so she, of course, was going to be one too.
Me? I don't believe it's only in the blood.
I grew up with a very traditional Indian family in the Upstate. If anything's in my blood, it's certainly not journalism. It's marrying young or going to medical school.
Where my parents went wrong in stressing the importance of these two inheritances they will never know, and they will forever bemoan that fact. But as it turns out, I am a journalist.
I'm not sure how it happened. Somewhere between copy-editing class, working at Garnet & Black magazine or my internships at Vice and CNN, I went from a lazy, college student to a hardworking, enthusiastic writer – juggling work, friends, school and my ridiculous hopes and dreams of a nontraditional Indian future where I get to tell stories for a living.
When my mother calls to make sure I'm eating enough "rotis" and meeting the right "desi" guys, I always seem to be editing in the office of USC's student magazine.
My parents dislike my chosen career path. They dislike my job at Garnet & Black, and they dislike that I revel in their contempt. Whether it was a distinct desire to write or just sheer contrariness that led me to journalism, I'm still unsure.
But one thing's certain – I know it makes me happy, and I've never looked back.