My parents and grandparents always used to say “You have to study something that is serious and stable.”
When I was little I wanted to be a doctor, I guess we all go through those different stages of professional interest. I used to use my grandmother’s stethoscope and listen to the hearts and lungs of my friends. I used beg my mother to take me with her on her ward rounds or whenever they called her when she was on night duty. I used to roam around the hospitals with my dad and help him out during small surgeries. I learned a lot of things, like the names of instruments, the names of syndromes, how to read x-rays and my mother used to test me on the subject also. I enjoyed it so much that it became part of who I was.
I was always good at drawing and I used to have my pictures featured on the walls of all the schools I went to as a child. It was my strongest subject. As I got older and finally went to highschool I continued to study design and art, I explored going to guitar lessons, dancing and acting. More than anything I wanted to be involved in producing animation movies. My mother even took me to a company that made all the animations for one of the leading SA channels.
My parents could see that things were going differently to what they were hoping would happen for me. They had told me that medicine is not for someone like me, it is a lot of studying (all your life) and also not a family kind of job. I suppose now looking back at this, I feel that it is a lot of hard work and maybe I would have taken a lot of emotional things home that would have not been the most pleasant. My love for helping people always comes up when I do come into contact with these things and far more than anything it feels like it is in me to be a good doctor and someone who will see things easily and diagnose quickly. None the less I said to them that I wanted to do arts. After all their support in my interest they finally said it is not the best thing and there is not a lot of money in it. I think they probably didn’t think I was capable of making it big or because I would be struggling or maybe because they didn’t have the connections to help me.
In the end I was influenced to choose something else and I chose to do engineering. I thought that would be best, because I was creative and it would use my entrepreneurial skills. I was strong at selling and that combination I thought could be put to good use.
After many years of working hard and doing quite well in “my profession”, I realized that actually I am not using my direct engineering skills and working as a manager and using my business skills more.
I always remember something that I now despise, I used to look down on people who studied those subjects and not “something serious”. Maybe I was longing and wanting to do this myself and therefore was looking down on them. How sad and pathetic.
Anyway, I am past this aspect of my life and now I am so proud of people who have had the courage to just go ahead and do what they believe in. Finally I am really looking forward to just being that person who I was meant to be, to giving up having to conform and exploring my potential. All I can hope and pray for is that others do the same.
It isn’t what the government says: We need these skills in the country so we will only sponsor you if you do that, or you can’t come into our country unless you do this…. It’s madness!
Be free people.