For the past two days, I attended this mandatory training at work which I welcome with open arm and happy heart because this means… Yeay, I don’t need to work for two days! Ok, getting sidetracked. The first thing we were asked to do (after the inevitable ice breaking session which always, always turns to be a failure every time) by the facilitator was to make a list on a piece of paper our career goals and personal goals. A minimum of three each. We were given 5 minutes. That, was a really long 5 minutes. It was grueling. While everyone was writing away, I was struggling with my list. It was hard to pen down even one goal. I looked up, facilitator is going around the room and I felt ashamed of my empty list and I started scribbling just about anything that pops into my mind.
Then it dawned onto me. It is such a shame that I still did not know where I am head at this point in life. How did I arrive in such a pitiful state?
It’s a long story. But hey, I have the time.
When I was 7, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up. Without much thought, I was adamant that I’d grow up to be either a doctor, a teacher or a policewoman. I wouldn’t even considered anything else.
I’m not sure how but somehow I knocked some sense into this thick brain and changed my last option from a policewoman to a scientist. I was fascinated by all things science. Words like stethoscope, heartbeat, photosynthesis, oxygen etc amazed me. To a 7 year old, it was like magic! Things that you cannot see but you know that it exists and plays such important role in the universe. Universe itself is a big word so just imagine how cool it is to be a doctor or a scientist. As for being a teacher, I adored and admired all my teacher. Wise and all-knowing, poised and confidant. I don’t think they realise how powerful their words are coz no matter what they said, it would be the truth. There’s no question to their authority. None of my parents’ words had such hold over me compared to teachers.
These ambitions didn’t really change throughout . But somehow, as I grow older and in my early teens I wasn’t so sure about my ambitions anymore.
Doctor? Err, I am not that clever. Teacher? I don’t want to be stuck in a classroom forever. I want more! Scientist? What is scientist, what does a scientist do anyway? These so called ambitions that I had didn’t seem so relevant anymore. But at that time, if you told anyone that you don’t have an ambition, you’ll be laughed at. And so, I consoled myself. I told myself that when I grow older, I’ll know what I want to do with life and what I want to be.
So I waited for epiphany.
And waited some more.
By this time I finished high school and the moment of truth came where I had to decide on what I want to do for the rest of my life. It’s a really big responsibility for a 17 year old, I said to myself. The rest of your life hangs on one decision. The excuse back then is this quote. I hold onto this quote like I’m holding on for dear life,
When we were five, they asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. Our answers were thing like astronaut, president, or in my case… princess.
When we were ten, they asked again and we answered – rock star, cowboy, or in my case, gold medalist. But now that we’ve grown up, they want a serious answer. Well, how ’bout this: who the hell knows?!
This isn’t the time to make hard and fast decisions, its time to make mistakes. Take the wrong train and get stuck somewhere chill. Fall in love – a lot. Major in philosophy ’cause there’s no way to make a career out of that. Change your mind. Then change it again, because nothing is permanent.
So make as many mistakes as you can. That way, someday, when they ask again what we want to be… we won’t have to guess. We’ll know.
One Tree Hill.
That, become my safety nest. My ultimate excuse. Aah..So, it doesn’t matter that I am groping in total darkness? I’ll eventually know what I want to do?
I’ve been aimless and not bothered since then. Well, to say that I’m not bothered at all would be a lie coz once in a while I’d be worried but I didn’t think much of it so it didn’t really bother me.
But now that I finished tertiary education and started work, it is just not ok for me to be directionless. I am 24 years old, sitting around waiting for epiphany doesn’t work any more. But how do one go about knowing what one really wants? That, remains a mystery. A mystery to me at least. Coz the rest of them in the training session seem to know exactly where they are heading.
I hope one day I get to say this with utmost confidence and pride,
If I was given a chance to do whatever I wanted to do and the right amount of money to do it, I’d choose to be a ….
Coz seriously, groping is no fun. I’d like some pointer as to what I’m meant to do so that I can have a early start towards that direction please.