When I Grow Up

Inspired by barefootmed’s post about passion, I decided to create a “mindmap” from a post I drafted up back in October of 2013 that illustrates my thought process as I was deciding what career would suit me best.

IMG_0020

This is of course a watered down version of the real deal. There were many other professions and disciplines that I considered going into whether it be for a moment or for an extended period of time. I wish I could say that I had it figured out in high school. I mean, I thought I did – like many other pre-meds, I had declared that I wanted to be a doctor back when I was 5 years old. But as you learn more about the world, you just realize there is just so much more out there than your generic, “teacher, firefighter, lawyer, doctor” spiel that you get in elementary school. Friends, movies, tv shows, books, professors, colleagues, people – they all gave me perspective.

While I am happy that I found my way back to my five-year old’s dream, up until two years ago, I honestly never knew why I was hell-bent on becoming a doctor. There aren’t any physicians in my immediate or extended family. I wasn’t exposed to death at an early age, nor was I diagnosed with any life-threatening disease that required frequent trips to the hospital. I had no fractures or broken bones growing up and I was seldom sick so the only time I would see my pediatrician was once a year during a wellness exam. That’s all. So why was I “passionate” about becoming a doctor when I couldn’t identify where that passion stemmed from?

High school students (and younger) are often led to believe that in order to find that right job for you, you must be passionate about it. This hit close to home for me because there were countless times in college and high school where I would find something science-related boring and question my intentions for going into the medical field. I had a high school guidance counselor who stood up to my freshmen class and told us that if we weren’t passionate about science and math, we were probably not going to become doctors. It struck a nerve then, and it still irks me now that a counselor would say that to students who barely had a grasp on what they wanted to do, let alone understood what the term “passionate” entailed. As someone who naturally excelled in English and History, I definitely started questioning myself after hearing just that one phrase. And that’s probably what spawned my inability to commit to one profession during my college years.

Of course, nothing beats being Mr. Feeny.

So back in October of 2013, months after graduating from college and on the brink of taking classes for the MCAT, I sat down and tried to logically explain what worked and what didn’t. And I came to the conclusion that it’s just not ONE thing that makes this profession suitable. It doesn’t boil down to passion. It stems from a myriad of factors including my likes, dislikes, and job expectations. And when all of that was taken into consideration, I just knew. Regardless of how long this process will take, nor how many hoops I need to jump through to get there, this is what I want to be when I grow up.

<3 A.

 

They Happen For A Reason

A detour from the usual to discuss a topic that often comes up when discussing the fragility of “meant-to-be” relationships. It is relevant once more as a close friend of mine decides whether she is as in love with her first and only boyfriend as she was in the beginning. For friends who are faced with the dilemma, that their first crush, love, significant other might not be their soulmate, I always bring up the “Cory and Topanga” scenario from the TV show, Boy Meets World. However, whenever I do bring up this example, I always get looks of disbelief as if I was crazy. But hear me out, even if it was staged on a TV show, this scenario is one of the most applicable to our daily lives. Cory and Topanga had one of the most iconic television relationships of the 90s. And yet, even they had to break up and see other people, to realize how much they really, truly loved each other.

My AP Psychology teacher, Ms. Hewit, pretty much summed up the same belief in class one day:

“Do not commit to the first person you see. You need to see other people to find the right person. It’s like finding the perfect outfit. You need to ‘try on different clothes’ in order to find the one that fits YOU the best.”

I’m not comparing men and women to clothes. But the theory makes sense right? As humans, it is difficult for us to simply settle – from a biological standpoint, we are constantly looking for that partner who will provide us with optimal offspring. Some people end up searching their entire lives for this “ideal” soulmate. I don’t think this is appropriate either, as high expectations often leaves you in solitude. But if you haven’t put yourself out there – if you haven’t gotten to see what the world has to offer you, how do you know that this is THE person for you? And likewise, how do we know if that first chance – that first shot – is the right time and place? A relationship involves two core components – timing and chemistry. And maybe that first try wasn’t the right time or maybe both parties were just not on the same playing field. If even Cory & Topanga needed to give each other a second chance then I don’t see how we think we as real-life human beings are invincible.

Just some thoughts,

A.