childhood dreams

During my childhood, I had many dreams and ambitions regarding my future career. Most of the time they weren’t lofty goals. Sometimes I think I must’ve been a rather impressionable kid because a lot of the things I wanted to be were inspired by people I saw on a regular basis. Of these, I distinctly remember phases of wanting to be a baker, a postie, bus driver, and librarian. Maybe the ones I encountered just always seemed cheerful or seemed as if they enjoyed their jobs…

I went through the usual cliched ambitions too: firefighter, police officer, professional athlete, veterinarian (or something to do with animals), something environmental (I don’t remember what exactly, but I feel like this would’ve been a consideration at some stage).

But, of course, none of these ambitions stuck. I realised, at some stage, that these jobs weren’t for me – for one reason or another, I wasn’t suited to the job, or the job wasn’t suited to me. Now I’m a pharmacist, and I’m pretty sure that was never on my list. It was possibly never even considered for the list at all. I suppose I never spent any significant amount of time in pharmacies when I was a kid, so I didn’t really have much of an opinion of them.

It doesn’t matter, though, because by some magnificent stroke of luck, I actually like Pharmacy, and I guess it was a good fit for me after all. But this post is not about being a pharmacist.

When I think about the multitude of things that my younger self wanted to be, and I think of the many dreams that were abandoned for one reason or another, I realise that there are three things that never got taken off the list. Even after all these years…

The first is author/writer. I liked reading from a young age, and I suppose it was a natural progression for me to admire authors and aspire to be like them. I also feel like I’ve always been fascinated by words, and actually once attempted to read an entire dictionary. Not sure if any normal person has ever managed to do that, but I certainly didn’t because I must’ve realised there are far more interesting ways to learn words (i.e. read novels).

Different people have different views on when you’re allowed to call yourself a writer/author. My writing simply includes that novel I wrote last year, a couple of short stories, and this blog that I maintain. Even I’m hesitant to qualify myself as a writer, but I think part of me is hoping that by withholding that title, it’ll push me to strive harder for it (?) Yeah, I dunno, sounded plausible while I was typing it… Anyway, point is, this aspiration has never changed.

The second consistent dream is to become a teacher. I’ve been lucky to have had a lot of great and inspirational teachers over the years. I have a lot of respect and appreciation for those teachers who really care about their jobs and the students that they teach. On top of this, I’ve always enjoyed that feeling of imparting knowledge to others, and that feeling of satisfaction when you see that you’ve helped someone to learn something.

I could have studied education straight after high school, but I felt like I wanted to experience other things first. In a sense, I guess I just wanted more knowledge so that I had more to share. Although I’m quite happy in pharmacy at the moment, teaching is something that I think about now and then, and part of me believes I will still enter into that field eventually.

But I suppose, like writing, teaching is already something I do. Perhaps not in the context that I’d expected or dreamed of when I was a kid, but it’s true: Being one of the more “senior” pharmacists, I do get to help out with training new staff. I actually really like being able to help someone settle in to the workplace and help them learn not just the basics of their job, but also all the little tips and tricks that would make their life a bit easier. In turn, I’m still learning things all the time from my colleagues, so I suppose I’ll never stop being a student either.

Now we’ve come to the third dream – the other dream I’ve held on to since my childhood. Well, this one is perhaps a bit more unexpected. I mean, I’m sure a lot of kids have this dream, but it’s one that people usually outgrow. Put simply, I’ve always wanted to be a hero.

In addition to all the books I read, I also watched a lot of TV as a kid, and this included a lot of cartoons that were invariably about some kind of hero. And what kid doesn’t look up to superheroes? Of course, as I grew up, I realised that super powers aren’t real (or are they…?), or I at least resigned myself to the fact that super powers weren’t attainable for me (again, are they really?) But I’ve held on to this dream nonetheless.

I went to a modern art exhibit a few years ago, and they had a “wishing wall” where there were hundreds, if not thousands of ribbons with wishes printed on them. The idea was that you could take one to keep as long as you wrote your own wish on a piece of paper, and put it on/in the wall in place of the ribbon. When I saw this ribbon, I knew that was the one I’d be taking:


And I’ve kept it all these years!

When I was thinking about the way writing and teaching have manifested themselves in my current life, and thinking about the ways I’ve kind of fulfilled those dreams in different ways, I started wondering if the same could be applied to being a (super)hero. And, really, once I broke it down, I realised it was very possible.

Think about it: What do superheroes actually do? They uphold justice, they help others, they do what’s right. I’m probably not involved in the justice side of things (apart from being a law-abiding citizen, if that counts…) but I’d like to think that I do ok at the other two things. And, you know, maybe it’s not about trying to be a hero for the world or a nation or even a city. Maybe it’s enough to be a hero for a few people – just for the people that really matter.


7 thoughts on “childhood dreams

  1. Lol… I remember my sister dreamed of being a postman too. Haven’t the foggiest where she got that idea from as we had no postmen where we were growing up 🙂 I’d have loved to be a teacher too. Such a wonderful contribution to the world by shaping young minds 🙂

    • Hahaha did she watch “Postman Pat” as a kid? He seemed to have a great life (but I don’t think I ever really watched that show)
      Would you still consider becoming a teacher…?

      • I don’t think she did. Apparently she just really liked khaki (that’s what postmen in India wear) 😛

        It’s odd you should ask that. For some reason I keep bumping into the idea of being a teacher and I’m realizing that I still love the idea as much as I did when I was younger. Now whether I will act upon it is a different issue altogether 🙂

  2. I dreamt of being a nun and then a Marine. Clearly influenced by too many movies. Record industry executive and chef never featured in my dreams. But I always wrote, I always wanted to be a writer but guess I never had the confidence to try. So – not too late for all our lofty dreams. Right?

    • Haha I’m sure I also considered a career in the military at some stage. Probably also influenced by movies/TV. Isn’t it funny the way life works out sometimes…
      And, yes, certainly not too late to fulfil these lofty dreams! I suppose it also depends on how you want to define a writer too. You could easily qualify already 🙂

Please leave a comment (or two!) here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s