I would have saved this post for my TV blog over at WordPress, but having decided that blog is less personal, I shall instead write it for this one.
Back in high school, I had such a fascination with CSI. A combined influence of my parents preferring I take a technical course and pleasing ‘practicality’ semi-forced me to place BS chemistry as my first course choice. It was a sudden and immature decision, primarily springing from the prospect of being ‘technically’ smart yet financially stable. I actually wanted to be in film (REALLY? I can’t believe it myself, now either!) and initially wanted to take communication arts. Four terms later, I realized that basing your career decision on a TV show and not from your first intuition is never a wise thing to do. Years later, I would also discover that my intuition is rarely wrong, and following it reaped wonderful rewards. I rediscovered my voice in writing, while still able to satisfy a scientist’s favorite question: ‘why?’ with my position as features writer then editor at the school paper. Then I decided to be a journalist, begging not only to have an internationally-published byline, but also the chance to tell remarkable stories.
Career confusion resurfaced once again several terms before graduation. I had failed the class which reviewed us for the boards, further emphasizing how the science path just wasn’t meant for me. I was very close to shifting, even consulting the Literature department chair himself. But with only two terms till graduation, he said my course was worth finishing and that a rich literary background doesn’t necessarily make a great writer. It’s their experience. You have to have something to write about.
So two terms later, I retook that boards review class and two others, passed them with okay marks and finally walked my delayed march. Outside influences insisted on the boards, telling me it was a fallback. But I didn’t want a fallback. I only wanted to do one thing, and that was to write the cover of a major magazine. And of course, take the painful but strangely satisfying steps to get there.
I chose not to take the boards. I chose to let go of a degree that would reap financial stability and the steps towards clean and renewable energy. It wasn’t for me. I wanted artistic yet analytical discovery. I didn’t want to be limited to laboratory. Maybe I should have been a marine biologist, but my dexterity says otherwise. Anyway, I didn’t want a forced affair. It hasn’t been easy. I don’t have the recognition doctors, lawyers, and engineers get from their licenses. A friend even mistook the magazine I work for for its local and more established competitor (we are still the international title. HAHA). But I’m happy and certain of who I and what I want to become.
Carlos Celdran explains my choice best with these wise words:
But if you’re going to do what you want to do, you have to be prepared for the difficulty because you’re going to be doing something that people aren’t gonna be expecting you to do. You’re going to be hitting challenges; you’re going to be hitting resistance, even within yourself. So unless you’re prepared to destroy yourself and come up from the ashes again, then go live somebody else’s life.
I’m always up for a challenge, but the difficulty must still be within my reach and passions. So here’s to forging ahead, rising above all those challenges, and coming out a better person.