When I was a kid, I wanted to be a lot of things.  In fact, I wanted to be everything.  Now, when I think about it, I’m not so sure why I wanted to be some things like, say, a ballerina when I clearly dance like a fish in the sky.  Ever seen a fish dance in the sky?  No?  Me neither but I bet, if a fish had enough balls to dance in the sky, it would not be a very pretty sight.  But I do remember five things I specifically wanted to be when I was a kid.

  • NUN.  I can distinctly remember telling my dad one night when I was around 8 that I wanted to enter the convent.  He laughed so hard I was surprised he didn’t pee his pants.  I guess it has something to do with my education – it’s pretty Katoliko sarado, if you get my meaning.  Plus the fact that my parents had expected me to always do the right thing (I was a very anal child, uhuh) that, until now, I have to be extremely aware when I find myself sitting astride my freakin high horse.  Then high school happened.  And, even though it was an all-girls school – WAIT – especially because it was an all-girls school, I became fascinated with a lot of things.  Truly fascinated.  So my dreams of becoming the next Mother Teresa were squashed by those fascinations with things better left unsaid.  Like men. Even though they didn’t return the same fascination as I had shown them.  Tear.
  • BALLERINA.  I was a very tomboyish girl, given that I grew up with two boys.  My siblings and I started to realize I was different from them, not when I one day started screaming like a banshee and ran out of the bathroom with my bloody undies in my fists, but earlier when my mum told my dad to withdraw me from Taekwondo class and enroll me in ballet class.  What I said earlier about me dancing like a fish in the sky wasn’t true.  I looked more like a piglet pretending to be a swan and, although I think piglets are cute, dancing piglets are not.  Dancing was the most awkward thing ever, for me, but when I was a child, I wanted to be good at what I did and ballet was what my parents told me to do.  So I wanted to be a ballerina and tried really hard to be good at it.  But my ballet teacher bellowed I was not and will never be.  Bitch.
  • ARTIST. Speaking of being good at things, there was one thing I was pretty sure I was good at, even as a child, and that was SKETCHING and music.  Music came later in my life so I’m focusing on art here.  I remember dawdling on all my notebooks and books and on whatever surface when I was only 4, way before I could even spell my (real) name, which, I swear to you, was not an easy thing for a child of 4 to learn because it is a very very hard name to spell and even to pronounce.  I’m not very detail-oriented, really, but I get the big picture very fast and I’m a connoisseur of beauty and cuteness so yeah.  But my parents were both scientific people and perhaps the idea of having a child live as a struggling, impoverished artist leeching off them in the future did not hold much appeal to them.  So there went my artistic dreams.
  • WRITER.  Whoever said that having a hyperactive imagination is an asset is a freakin fool because it’s not an asset for everyone.  In my line of work, where medical objectiveness is a must, a hyperactive imagination gets in the way.  But, as a child, I reveled in my hyperactive imagination.  I remember doing a spin-off of the Wizard of Oz when I was 11 when I wrote that the girl turned into the Tin Man and the Lion got eaten by the Wizard.  I loved to read, made little stories in my head and even had imaginary friends and don’t hate on the catatonic child that I was.  She had a lot going on in her head, leave her alone.
  • JOURNALIST.  I do not understand how an extroverted child could turn out to be such a recluse as an adult.  Really.  It boggles the mind.  I wanted to be in the limelight as a child.  I wanted to be the one to hold the microphone at all times and, when a mic wasn’t available, I’d use my mother’s stethoscope to relay important and up-to-date news to the masses.  Because the stet, you know, amplified my voice to my ears.  Even if the amp-ed volume could only be heard by my own ears.  I wanted to be a journalist because I wanted to be the first in the know.  Even until now, I still do want to be the first in the know.  But, story of my life, I’m always the last to know crap these days because, you know, I don’t move in them high-class social circles.

Here I am, already an adult, and beginning my third year in medical school in a couple of weeks.  Who woulda thought, right?  Well, hell.  Who am I kidding.  I’ve always known that I was going to medical school.  I fought it before, said I was  going to apply to law school or to art school.  But having parents who were medical doctors?  Snort.  There’s no escape there.  But, I guess, as you grow older, your priorities shift.  Yes, I still want to be those five things I’d wanted to be as a child but, as a doctor, you get to do more.  You get to be more.  You get to help more.  Because as you grow older, you see more outside of yourself and realize you have a lot more to offer.  For me, I guess it is through medicine that I can get to offer myself to others.  I still pray, still sketch, still write, still stay up-to-date with national and global issues.  Although I sure as hell still don’t try to move my two left feet in dance.

So how exactly does childhood screw you up?  Haha.  It doesn’t, not really, so long as you don’t let it.  We are adults, not fishes that fly in the sky nor piglets that swim in the lake.

  1. This post made me think back to all of the things I wanted to be before settling on a doctor. Things like a fireman, an astronaut, a writer, and an archeologist(I really loved Indiana Jones! :P). At the least, I can still pretend to be a writer by blogging and dream of writing that book some day.

  2. cassiemalvar says:

    Haha, that’s what I’m doing here as well — pretending to be a writer by blogging and wasting time in the process. Simple joys in life. Doesn’t matter if nobody reads… just have to write! Good luck with medschool, man. 🙂

  3. jujulepirate says:

    Great post – really enjoyed reading it! 🙂

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