March 03, 2014

Ambitions more like Aspirations



I could recall that one question I could hardly answer when I was in MRSM was what career or profession I wanted to be in the future. The only thing I remembered responding was to generalize it as if I was asked about aspirations.

I don't know if it was only me but it was hard, really to think of a career you wanted to be. It was almost like I wanted to be everything. I wanted to try everything and do all things and not miss one thing others are doing. To pick one particular profession that offers everything you always wanted to be and to do and to spend your life with never sounds easy to me. That was why my "ambition" often vacillated from being a teacher, an engineer, a journalist to a business magnate, a TV host, a computer analyst and even a graphic designer. I even remember claiming coherently that I wanted to be a PR manager during one mock interview with the school bigwigs and making a 30-page scrapbook on "Biotechnology" for a career assignment, with the title "My Ultimate Ambition". 

This dilemma never appeared to me that I had an identity crisis or that I didn't have a crystal clear vision of life. It simply that I liked so many things and not even one career could make me fit in. Perhaps, this predicament was rooting from my habit of reading and watching too much. I read a quite number of books and magazines, causing me to covet to learn Mandarin, pastry and cake baking, do hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and bungee jumping. I watch too many movies  and TV shows, inspiring me to become a travel blogger, a writer, a film director, a humanitarian volunteer, a philanthropist, a gardener, a chef and an award show orchestrator.

I read and watch persistently, making me dream of doing something new and causing me to forget what I have dreamt beforehand. 

Yet, they somehow failed to give me a hint on what I was supposed to be. I still wanted to be everything. Despite all the calamities  and befuddlement I was facing, I eventually chose to do medicine. It was scary at first - you know what people are fussing about medicine and medical schools. Other than the fact that I really like biology, for me, medicine is almost like an ultimatum that if I make it, it would be the best alibi to me that I can do anything I want to do. I would not naysay that medicine is indeed hard, but it somehow centers me and gives me all those feelings I need when I want to do something seriously, albeit most of the time they are simply wasted. Medicine is amazing since we learn about ourselves and mastering it requires these deeper feelings, which I dig so bad. I just like when it comes to all this feelings thing.

I believe medicine somewhat opens more rooms for me and it is kind of flexible to what I think I'm capable at. Talking with people, listening to their problems, giving suggestions to resolve them and seeing smiles because of that never sound any better to my ears. Call me whatever expletive you please, but these warmness and human gestures would be the most efficient working environment to me, even though I am perfectly sure that it would be alternately mixed with human cries in agony, people screaming here and there, and omnipresent displeasing odors. I can still smile and dance in this unorthodox merriness.

Most people would second that treating people and giving them medications are virtuous enough for one to spend his life with, but... (here comes the bummer) no, I am not going to spend my whole life being a physician (if I have the chance to be one). There will be one moment of my life that I will stop whatever I am doing and be everything I always wanted to be instead. People might wonder "So what he wants to be actually?". To be honest, I don't really know. But one thing for sure, the things I would do don't always revolve about making money and opulence, for me, they mean making a change and that change is for something better. It is not necessarily an act of leaving you footprints or even being immortalized in the Walk of Fame, it simply makes the world a better place to live in, even though the change is not the constant NY Times headlines, even though our deeds are sometimes buried under the resounding voices of politicians who talk big and do less, even though our demise was not celebrated ceremoniously under bright neon lights and with the accompaniment of euphonious music and people lamenting here and there. Being an unsung hero for me is not always bad, if fixing and bettering something for others to reap are what we always aspire to do.

Some people make it clear that they NEVER want to be an engineer, a physician, a teacher, or anything. They just want to be happy. But, being given a life merely for one to be happy seems so irrelevant to me. For me, having a decent career, a pretty wife, bright kids and a good life is just not enough. I think, life is only significant if the happiness is shared with the others. 

Now I realize that regardless of any random thing I'd want to be or to do, I want to end it gracefully with something fruitful for generations to profit. Maybe I could never pick the right profession. So to hell with ambitions. One thing I could tell loud and clear -- my aspirations are always to be happy and most importantly, to share the happiness with the others which I hope would stay immortal.

If my days were previously filled with thoughts like "Did I do it well enough?", "I should have tried this" and "I don't know what should I be?" and conundrums on future, self-satisfaction and sometime others' perceptions, now I only see one thing. And I'd do just that.