This question. Hm.
For some, the response to this question is the reason why they are wherever they are today. For others, it has no correlation with it. Me, I think it played a role in guiding me towards my true path.
When I was in my pre-teen years, I wanted to become a paediatrician. This is mostly inspired by a doctor I had at the time. The first time I walked into this old man’s office, I was all sorts of sick. I could barely breathe and my face felt so heavy, like it didn’t belong to me. I felt like crap, and looked it too. The last thing I wanted to do was laugh, and that’s exactly what he got me to do. He asked me questions about myself that had nothing to do with how I was feeling. Then he called an older nurse and together, they put up a cultural dance session with him being the drummer and her, the dancer. It was hilarious. For a brief moment, I forgot all about my pain. By the time I left his office, I did not feel like crap anymore. That was when I decided. I wanted to be like him when I grew up. I wanted to make kids feel better before they even took medicine.
Somehow, I lost the dream in my teenage years. I had taken classes in technical drawing and I suddenly wanted to become an architect. I figured since I was already good at it, the whole thing would be a walk in the park. It wasn’t. Architects stayed in school for years and it was more than just drawing. I wasn’t sure I was ready for such a commitment.
In high school, I was good at chemistry. I loved it actually. Spent most of my free time either studying chemistry or teaching it. So when the time came to follow a career path, I knew it would be something chemical. I considered pure Chemistry, then later settled for Pharmacy (till I found out it had a lot of biology in there which I wasn’t a major fan of).
Due to the fact that I detested studying Biology (except genetics), I could neither pursue pharmacy nor medicine. Suddenly, I didn’t have a career path. I was jobless before I had a chance.
In the end, a few days before my university applications, I decided on chemical engineering. I was good at chemistry and I loved how I felt when I finally solved a math problem. There’s no engineer in my life. As a matter of fact, nobody understood why I chose it. But it felt like that was what I had been called to pursue.
Five years down the line, I am a Process Engineer who has no idea what she’s doing with her life. She doesn’t have any job offers with her name on it yet she refuses to go back to school without proper work experience (so that her masters’ degree would be relevant to her field). She has no idea what the future holds, but she’s at peace knowing that she’s exactly where she’s supposed to be; at home with her family writing about her life to an audience she’s never met.
Funny thing is, I may not be a doctor (like I’d planned) but I still like to help people feel better when they aren’t feeling so great. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Sometimes I hurt people instead of helping. It’s the worst feeling, ever. In the end, I just keep praying for grace to help others in spite of myself and healing so I don’t project my hurt onto anyone. I am only human.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Dr Nyameba 💜