When I was a cute, spunky little girl, I wanted to be a doctor.
Well, because my godfather was. And the slightest sign of colds always brought me to the hospital bed–yeah, medicare and the fact that my godfather did own the largest hospital (of three) in our town. My mother miscarried twice after I was born so that makes hospital visits when I was a kid a regular thing. I remember moving about when I got bored, running around the “huge” hospital, going up and down the ramps, watching patients getting rushed inside the DR and OR, staying in the supply room–hey! how was I to know they were supposed to be sterile areas!
So yeah, I liked being around doctors, nurses and I loved the smell of alcohol and cotton and the sight of syringe brought me that uncontrollable rush of joy.
Like most kids, I changed my mind about what I wanted to be when I grow up. I remember one hospital visit when the nurse asked me if it was true that I wanted to be a “journalist-lawyer” (albeit not too backward and small, our town was, well, the type where people know people who know you and what you do can sometimes be the main course at the dining table. hehe). I was in Grade 5 then and my adviser was close to my godmother, who was also a nurse, and most likely my essay went from coffee table to coffee table to the triage. Hehe. But yeah, I discovered the passion for writing and lawyering when I was in Grade 5. You see, my brother was already a barrister then and because he would let me wear his college org’s shirts, I felt like I was one of them.
But that passion was shortlived.
My sister, a nurse, was the guest speaker during my grade school commencement exercise. Again in the hospital, I remember the nurses gushing about how wonderful her speech was and all that. I remember my sister’s use of the adage, prevention is better than cure, as the springboard of her well-written graduation talk. My other sister got married that year and somehow my sister and I gravitated towards one another, us being the only “single” girls left in the family–even if she lived away from home. She was a CI then so trips again to the hospital came in more than threes. Hehe. Come to think of it, I’ve always been tagging along my sister even if I was no longer a toddler.
But “common sense” told me that I was never gonna get into the medical field, and I never wanted to be a nurse. I wanted to be a doctor. My brother brainwashed me into really wanting to be a lawyer. So all my high school life, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer.
Then I had to fill out the application form for UPCAT.
My first choice was, of course, the Diliman campus. When it got to the “course” part, a number of days passed before I finally got to turn in my app–and yeah, we submitted it way past the deadline! Hehe. You see, my cousin was then taking Comparative Literature in UPD. I liked it. Then I saw European Languages. It was something that I really, really, really liked! My brother asked in usual law-is-the-best-field-in-the-world tone, “What do you want to be, an interpreter?!” So, I skipped that with a heavy heart.
INTARMED. I saw that in UP Manila. I wanted to be considered for it. It was a fusion of Pre-Med and Med bundled tightly into a 7-year course. I wanted it badly but we were awfully poor then. I never even bothered to give a hint that I wanted it so much more than the others. I don’t think I would have got into the program anyway but who knows. The thing is, I never even tried.
So I decided to just write Journalism as my first choice. I forgot what my second choice was. Anyway, I passed UPCAT–third in our region and I got a scholarship because of that. My brother again made the remark against my then chosen course. Hehe. He said, so, your peak’s gonna be when you’re a Noli de Castro.
Almost 10 years since I left the hallowed grounds of UP, I’m still trying to look for myself. I’ve become quite happy with my being a freelance writer but the smell of alcohol (hell, not the intoxicating type!) and cotton and gauze permeates the lonely air that I breathe.
I’ve been offered another chance to get into the medical field, as a nurse. Should I or shouldn’t I?