When I grow up, I want to be…

Majority of people are fortunate enough to know what they are passionate about at the very early stage of, say, childhood. It may be painting or singing or poetry or, at the other end of the spectrum, being an accountant or a nurse or an engineer.

For those of us who have passions on both sides, we either:

  1. Pursue art and risk being destitute, or
  2. Be practical and forget what we then label “childish” fantasies.

Let me be honest. I am passionate about my day job. For all its difficulties, I love being a nurse. But that doesn’t do away with the fact that I wanted to be a writer first, that I wanted my name on a book before I knew I wanted anything else other than candy as a kid.

Maybe the reason why caring for people has sneaked its way into my scope of interest is because in order to write literature, I needed to first experience its main subject — people. Maybe the reason why I loved psychiatry enough to major in it was because in order to write about more than my own limited human experience, I needed to understand both basic and erratic human thinking and motivation. Maybe my above-average interest in theology was grounded in the effort to look beyond all other human dynamics to understand the bigger picture in which we are drawn.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, oftentimes we can get sidetracked by having to be practical all the time that we give up on the things that we love, things that we would pursue in the blink of an eye had we been given unlimited wealth and resources. It’s not impossible to pursue both.

Just because you can’t easily paint to pay the rent doesn’t mean you can’t be an accountant who paints. You get the idea.

And a lot of you will say that it’s easier said than done, that you can’t possibly balance a day job and a full-time hobby. My only response to that would be, if I was able to do it, why can’t you?