“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
A question we’ve all heard countless times from the moment we could make sense of things. The question stays the same but the answers evolve as we move from one phase in our life to another.
I was reminded by a friend that in primary school, we had a booklet with a page dedicated to future occupations. Every year we would fill in that page with the jobs we wanted to do. I couldn’t even begin to recall everything that I’ve ever wanted to be but I was a child with many ambitions who wanted to do everything if she could. So, I thought why not review some of the things I wanted to be and why I ended up settling against them.
A princess – a fan favourite among little girls including 6-year-old me. I gave it up shortly after because the Princess Diaries made me realise that you actually have to do a lot of work and follow so many protocols instead of just wearing sparkly tiaras.
A marine biologist, veterinarian and zoologist – I love the ocean and I love animals, so why not strive towards a job that does both, right? I was convinced that I would spend my life in a yellow raincoat, riding a boat across the Malaysian coastlines and studying the ecosystem under our sea or in a dense tropical rainforest somewhere looking for endangered species but then I did biology in high school and hated it so bad that I swore I would never sit through a biology class again so that dream went out the window.
A singer/actress – I don’t think I seriously wanted to be one or had the talent for either honestly. I just liked the idea of being famous enough that I didn’t have to go to school. Also, I did so bad in my drama club audition that they put me in charge of the props instead so, yeah, the stage is definitely not for me.
A fashion designer – When I was 6, I would cut out the plastic bags my parents got from the grocery store into skirts and tops. Every moment since then I’ve tried sewing and doing fashion sketches but later came to terms with the fact that I sucked at drawing and I don’t know how to stitch something in a straight line. I still love fashion though but maybe styling is more my thing than designing is.
An archaeologist – I learnt in high school that I have a knack for history. It was one of my strongest subjects and I love it to this day but my parents weren’t particularly convinced about finding a job in that field.
A writer/journalist – It’s still one of my biggest dreams and I’m determined to achieve it (why else would I enjoy writing blog posts, right?)
There’s so much more but it’s 10:00 pm now and I’m starting to doze off. I suppose what I’m getting at here is that while our dream job has changed, the interest in those things might still be there. Yeah, I’m bad at biology but I still love reading facts about Mountain Goats and sure, I might not have a future in archaeology but I still love visiting museums and learning about history.