This morning I was watching my usual toddler cartoons (I have clearly harnessed and released my inner child) and Caillou came on. Caillou is a pre-school aged boy who constantly daydreams about what he wants to be when he grows up. Today as I was watching this I couldn’t help but think about how much I miss being a child where all of your thoughts are of this fantastic life of exploration you have ahead of you. I remember thinking how cool it would be to be a fireman or a police officer, a teacher or a doctor. It was so nice having no pressure to “Decide now before you waste any more time in college!” Well, the thing is, I still want to be a fireman, a police officer, a teacher, and a doctor. All of this pressure just makes one panic, and then one just scrambles to decide and uses the classic “I’ll make much more money being a doctor”, and “I’ll just take the safe route.” So, of course, I’ve decided to follow what everyone else tells me to do and become a doctor. Of course that’s much easier said than done though. It’s not like just anyone can make it through med school, and my last semester of college set off huge flares telling me that science isn’t exactly my strong suit (the first F of my life: Anatomy). However, I’ve always been a person to give up halfway through (dance, cheerleading, baseball, jobs) and change my mind completely, but I still deny it. So onward I go with this dreadfully drab pre-med state of mind to prove to everyone I’m not a quitter. I’m pretty content with just being a doctor, until something reminds me that it’s not my passion (and something ALWAYS comes along to remind me). Currently I’m reading a book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin to basically learn how to be happier. Now Gretchen went to law school and was very successful in her career, but through her happiness project she realized that law wasn’t her passion. Of course, here comes the part where Jessica begins to relate Gretchen’s life to her own and begins all the self-doubt. Let me show you an excerpt: “Enthusiasm is more important to mastery than innate ability, it turns out, because the single most important element in developing an expertise is your willingness to practice. Therefore, career experts argue, you’re better off pursuing a profession that comes easily and that you love, because that’s where you’ll be more eager to practice and thereby earn a competitive advantage.” Now for the dissection of this statement:
1)My past science grades will show that it does not come easily to me. Despite countless hours of studying and insane amounts of effort on all assignments, I still manage to bomb every test, lab assignment, and essentially anything else involving science.
2)I don’t LOVE science/medicine. Believe it or not, I don’t cuddle up with a cup of tea and an anatomy textbook every night (or ever).
You see, this thought never leaves my mind. The only things I LOVE to do are read, write, and edit other people’s writing! But a writing career isn’t the “practical” lifestyle according to everyone around me. It’s extremely competitive to try to get a job working for a magazine or newspaper, and I’m not exactly cutthroat (for those of you who don’t know me). I’m horrified to drop the thought of med school and study some literature because I don’t really like the idea of worrying where my next paycheck is going to come from when I’m 40. I suppose this question will never be answered.