Childhood Dreams


Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice

Ayn Rand

Confusion, uncertainty and perplexity surrounds any ordinary teenage. Some attributes this to adolescence while others point towards the environment. Regardless of its root, we all experienced it while constantly searching for clarity and coherence in our short-lived lives.

Personally, it was all about college. Working ever so hard to get into a reputable university to do a practical degree. Like most ambitious teenagers, medicine was my calling. I was quick to brush aside professions like law, engineering and architecture as socially  or morally unacceptable. I can remember the endless arguments with my father on why law is a morally reprehensible profession while engineering was not socially kool enough.

[readers must pardon my ego for the next paragraph]

I was an excellent artist winning several junior prizes at several in-school and off-school competitions. I was decent at math with the exception to trigonometry. I was talkative and very opinionated which my grandma, father, ex gfs and high school classmates can vouch for. I was an above average athletic, gifted with my mother’s running genes, the then 45 kg runner with no practice or training would challenge the better runners during those days. Notwithstanding all these “talents”, all I wanted to be was a doctor. Not something I was “good” at or something I showed potential.

For reasons beyond my control, my ambition to pursue medicine and go to college was shattered. The choices that followed were forced on me rather than readily made. From staying back in high school to teach juniors to pay off the outstanding fees to accidentally running into a NUS career talk in our High School library while marking student scripts to doing CIM “just in case” to ending up in business because I couldn’t find the economics degree in the NUS online application to breaking off/getting over what could have been the worst mistake of my life to  applying to law based on a non-monetary bet with a friend to doing enough big-firm corporate internships to get sick of corporate work to meeting then-random-people now-friends who financially supported me when family and relatives could not. If you ask me if it was my choices that led me to where are I am right now. I could say “no”. This journey has no doubt been filled with the same confusion, uncertainty and perplexity I experienced as a teenage then spoiled for options now settling for leftovers. Adapting and morphing to the changes around with a fading hope that someday this adult, who still recalls his fond memories of playing with his grandfather’s stethoscope, can become a doctor.

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