You know how when you were a kid, and you thought you knew what you were going be when you grew up? That was me then. And then, there’s the me now. Unemployed and not exactly sure what she wants to do.
A long long time ago, I thought knew what I wanted to be. Autograph books were so popular back in elementary school, and they always had that space where they ask you what you want to be when you grew up. For a time, I thought I wanted to be a businesswoman. To all my childhood classmates and friends whose autograph books I signed, my page will probably show evidence of that dream having been real. Businesswoman sounded like such a classy dream, especially for someone who didn’t exactly know what that meant or entailed. For many years, I thought I wanted to be a businesswoman. And here in the Philippines, if you were Chinese-Filipino, being a businessperson was usually (and more often than not) an option when deciding what to do.
And then I grew a little older, and I didn’t want to be a businesswoman anymore. I wanted to be a journalist, I wanted to write. Once in class, one of my teachers asked the class if they already knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. I distinctly remember this was in 6th grade, and maybe less than half the class raised their hands, I was one of them. I remember having a classmate who raised her hand without fear or doubt, the teacher called her and she told us she wanted to be a lawyer. I’m still good friends with that girl right now, though I’m not entirely sure if the path she’s on will still lead her to becoming a lawyer, or if that is still her dream.
A few years later, I changed my mind again. No longer did I want to be a journalist, I wanted to be a writer or a diplomat working in some foreign embassy. I thought I had it all planned out when I graduated from university; work for ABS-CBN or some newspaper/magazine/publishing house, get my work written, eventually get recognized, yadda yadda. Then I would maybe take the Foreign Service Exam and try to get into working in an embassy abroad. Doesn’t sound that confusing, at least it’s a dream with a laid-out plan.
Four years of university and one year of Mandarin (in China) later, I am now stuck in a rut. Back in Manila and job-hunting, with no real goal or desire in mind. Honestly, I don’t know what to do. It’s funny how things turn out the way they do. Sometimes, those who are so sure of what they want in their childhood, inevitably discover that those dreams that they built weren’t the dreams they wanted after all. And those who didn’t really know what they wanted, found it somewhere along the way. There’s a quote or a saying that can be compared to that, something about not finding what you want when you go looking for it, and finding things when you least expect them. Something like that.
I’m turning 23 this year and I still have no idea what I want to be, or what I want to do with the rest of my life. All the ideas or dreams I have or thought I wanted, just seem so idiotic when trying to think about how practical it all really is. Haha. Life is so hilarious, and surprising, really. To the kid me, if you could see me now, I wonder how disappointed you would be. The worst part is knowing what your best skill is, and what you love doing, but wondering if it’s enough to compete with in comparison to other people who think their best skill is the same as yours. Is it all really good enough?