When I Grow Up…

I’m pretty sure that when most of us were children, we would have various ambitions and ideas about what we would be when we grew up. Apparently some of the lucky ones had solid careers in mind. Some people inherently knew that they wanted to be a doctor and to save lives when they grew up. Others knew that they wanted to be a housewife just like Mummy. The rest of us…Well, the rest of us changed our minds about what we wanted to be as we grew up. From being a chef when we played with our plastic cookery set as children, to being a pop star while singing along to Britney Spears songs as a teenager to being an attorney and battling it out in court after watching episodes of Ally McBeal.

I’ve had my share of ‘When I grow up…’ moments as well. I went through quite a few career options in my mind. I vaguely remember wanting to be an elephant trainer (those women wearing glittery costumes whilst sitting atop elephants during the circus made it look very cool), a Miss Universe contestant (Come on, I can’t have been the only one who learnt Geography from watching those beauty pageants. Where else would you have heard about Trinidad and Tobago and the British Virgin Islands?), a prima ballerina (I took ballet lessons as a child. Ballet is the ultimate girly extracurricular activity what with its pink tutus and leotards), a flight attendant (until I realised that I stopped growing during high school and wouldn’t meet the height requirements), an actress (I didn’t want to go to university but wanted to study drama instead), a singer (I tried out for Malaysian Idol and had my 15 seconds of fame), a psychologist (I was a Psychology major for two semesters until I decided that I was more suited to Media and Mass Communications)…And the list goes on.

Having taken the traditional route and attended university twice over, doing an undergraduate degree majoring in Communications with a minor in International Studies followed a few years later by a Master of Occupational Therapy hasn’t really taken me any nearer to finding out the answer to what I really want to be when I grow up. Strange but true. As I look around me at my peers who have careers and families of their own, I honestly wonder if I’m alone in this. Could I possibly be the only one no longer in my twenties to not have figured out what I want to do with my life? Should I really have it all figured out by now? It does seem that way most times…

Where I grew up, traditional careers such as being a doctor, lawyer, engineer or accountant, anything with a professional sounding title is viewed as being successful. Parents are known to openly compare their children’s careers with those of their peers’ offspring. Yet I’ve also been exposed to a culture whereby the Bobbi Brown makeup artist in downtown Sydney, Australia is a PhD candidate in Engineering and the childcare worker who is adept enough in the kitchen to whip up lunch for the children of the childcare centre has a Master’s Degree in Town Planning. So maybe I don’t have to work in the media or as an occupational therapist to be successful in life and be happy. Yet the million dollar question here is what I would like to do for work and yet make enough to pay the bills…Well, I’m still trying to figure that out. Suggestions, anyone?

Till next time!