I am now in my mid-20s and I have graduated twice: both of which are medical courses and both of which are not related to my current line of work. I could present to you a complete narration of why I spent, or rather wasted, several years of studying scientific names, anatomical parts, and drug literature, but I won’t. That would only illuminate regret then sulking will take place and eventually, depression would consume me inside-out. I am ruling out the possibility to go back to my early 20s self: disoriented, gullible, and uninspired.
As my astigmatism and myopia worsen, my ambitions have changed, too. When I was a metal-mouthed teenager, I dreamed of becoming a hardcore physician. I never thought of what my medical specialization would be – it will happen when it happens, I told myself. However, being a pediatrician crossed my mind. It was also the time when I realized that I had a certain inclination to writing. And so as I memorized the life cycle of fungi and the phases of cell division, I wrote atypical stories of my typical teenage existence.
I already had an inkling that the medical profession is not my passion and my teenage dream was on the verge of meltdown. Since I was exponentially naïve, I convinced myself that I should finish what I have started in spite of my lack of interest in the subject matter. Right after I got my diploma, I knew in my mindless heart that a couple of consonants at the end of my future married name won’t seal the deal. That was not what I wanted to achieve. I was not contented.
I searched for soul. I worked as an English instructor at three different learning institutions in a single year. I had a grand time imparting foreign knowledge even though my students’ breath and clothes smelled of bibimbap and kimchi. I constantly left my previous jobs without formal resignation because I wanted to deviate a little from my old motto, so I literally did not finish what I started. I became more stubborn. Still, teaching adorable yellowzoids was not what I wanted to do. I was not contented. I was frustrated. And I was still hunting for my genuine calling.
As if I didn’t learn from my wrongful decisions earlier, I studied health and science again. It was supposed to be the practical choice but to me, it was more, like, the only choice. I thought time was leaving me behind and so I did not bother battling my heart. Everything became a struggle: I wanted to like what I was doing but I also wanted to do what I really want to do. I got my diploma for the second time but it was clear to me more than ever before: I am not tailor-made to work in the hospital.
|awesome illustration by David Dell'oso|
I have been happily employed for over half a year now and my ambitions have certainly changed ever since. But even though I have emphasized, twice already, how I love my current job, I still want to attain bigger aspirations in my life. I am still not contented but, at least, this time around, it is to be perceived from a positive point of view. I am going to dissect my goals, not plans (because plans are made to be cancelled), in three essential points.
First is writing. One of my greatest dreams is to have my collection of thoughts collated, printed, and published in a book. I have been writing since high school but I never had the guts to “showcase” any of my compositions. I don’t want to feel inferior but, at the same time, I don’t want to assume superiority. I want to engulf that awkward hesitation. I want to connect to people through my choice of words. No matter how non-sequitur my wordings are and no matter how I exaggerate with adjectives, it is my goal to have my very own paperback with a preface saying, “To my astrocherub.”
The second is taking pictures, on film to be specific. This certain goal of mine is time-bound. I have been doing analogue photography for almost three years now and I direly want to hold my own exhibition on the fifth year of my love affair with film prints and plastic cameras. I must make my ideas and imagination happen and I must capture them on film. I still have several months to visualize, prepare, and do photo shoots and trips. Right now, I am aiming for a sequence of mannequins or series of strangers, all shot with black and white emulsion. Subsequently, I will make stories out of those pictures.
I can now wholeheartedly declare that these two areas, which I have just vividly elucidated above, are my passions in life. They must co-exist so that I remain sane. But possibilities of all sorts will come and go: possibilities that would probably fuel or wreck my reverie. There is always a formidable possibility that not all things shall turn out the way you want them to be. Anything is, indeed, possible.
This gives way to my third, most imperative, ambition in life: living with love and loving life. Sounds ridiculous? I am not a lover or a hater of mankind but this is, by far, the most ultimate dream that I can ever think of. But how do I define (and most importantly, how do I attain) a life full of love? Yes, it may include mundane and unending wants but, actually, it is just a matter of having a family of my own, co-starring the Tyler Durden of my life (I am his tumor, of course), and bearing marvelous kids who would grow up listening to ska punk and watching WKW films.
I would still keep my good ole stethoscope with me so I can listen to my darling and my babies’ apical pulses. He would buy me wonderful sweets, like technicolor meringues and tarts, and he would twirl my hair until I doze off. We would hold hands. I would teach words to them and he would teach numbers. I would take pictures of them with countless instant films and I would write phrases and one-liners on them. We would hunt for ghosts and we would hush them to sleep. I would paint our walls with the color of our life. I would sing to them. We would fight but we wouldn’t be faltered. We would read, yes we would. I would let them take pictures of me, too. He would learn my poems by heart but he would only recite snippets of them. I would be surprised and incredibly happy. He would hold our hands. We would keep each other safe.
Never mind the printed paperbacks. Forget the presentation of stolen lives of others. What I want is happiness. This is my ideal future. This is what I want in life. This is my ambition. This is what contentment means.