My Dad is a retired doctor. He spent over 40 years in the profession and as the eldest son of a career physician, I am always asked why I didn’t choose to become a doctor myself.
There is the simple answer and then there is the more complicated answer.
The simple answer is that I hated the smell of the infirmary where he worked. Growing up, I spent hours and hours after school sitting in his office waiting for him to be done for the day and I couldn’t wait to get out of the place.
It’s amazing how little things like that color our judgement and completely govern our perception and our life’s journey, but I knew very clearly from those tedious afternoons of inhaling disinfectant, listening to people sneeze and cough, and thumbing through his endless pile of back issues of the Journal of American Medicine Association, that I would never want to become a doctor.
It just didn’t appeal to me in the first place. And this is what I always tell people.
But, this leads to the more complicated answer.
The more complicated answer is that I basically wasn’t “smart enough” to become a doctor. I was always an indifferent student and was particularly turned off by the very subjects that would be required to prepare for medical school.
Furthermore, I didn’t have the courage. I was never quite sure that even if all other things were equal, that I would be able to function effectively in life-or-death situations. To me, being a doctor was a huge responsibility and I didn’t know if I could handle it.
So … there you have it.
I didn’t like the smells. Maybe if he burned incense or had a chocolate chip cookie candle in his lobby, I’d be a doctor today.
I didn’t have the smarts. Maybe if I wasn’t ADD and didn’t have a math learning disability .. or maybe if I wasn’t terminally lazy, I’d be a doctor today
I didn’t have the guts. Maybe if the thought of holding the life of another human being in my hands wasn’t just too scary, I’d be a doctor today.
At any rate … three strikes and I was OUT!
So, that’s what I DIDN’T want to be. But, this blog poses the question, “What DID you want to be when you grew up?”
Well, honestly, I have always wanted to become a writer.
… to write stories
… to write poems
… to write songs.
I just wanted to be a writer … but, outside of an abortive attempt at an early career as a news reporter, I just never got around to doing what I really wanted to do.
Like so very many people, I just let the years slip by without trying to find my voice as a writer, until the day that I discovered blogging and had it suggested to me that WordPress was the easiest way to get started.
So now, I’m a writer. Not a professional mind you. Maybe not even a particularly good amateur … but, I’m writing, so by definition, I’m a writer.
I’m not making a living at it, but I’m finally doing what I always wanted to do.
How about you? What did you want to be when you grew up? Have you gotten there yet?