When I was younger, I loved to read and write. I used to write about anything and everything. I stapled pieces of paper together with my stories in them, and called them my “books”. I loved English class and siezed every opportunity I had to write essays. My parents realized that when I was 5 — I had a story I’d written about my deceased younger brother published in my kindergarten’s yearly publication, and my teachers called up my parents to inform them that I could write.
Nothing could dampen my enthusiasm for writing– it was the one thing I was really good at and it made me feel good about myself, not only because I was good at it; but because it was a great platform for me to express myself. I was a shy kid, and writing had a way of changing that for me.
As the years passed, I learned more about the real world. I was socially conditioned to think of writing as a less-than-practical career; that it was useless, not lucrative in the least, and simply, nothing an Asian should be proud of. With that, I pushed all my interests aside and focused on pursuing a career in the field of science.
It was in Form 6 that I realized that I just couldn’t excel in the subjects I had no interest in. I was conflicted; my mind told me to just endure the science stream so that I could take up a degree in nutrition and dietetics. My heart, however, always went back to the past, reminding me of what I enjoyed the most: Writing.
One day, true to my curious nature, I googled myself and I found http://sixthseal.com/2004/03/my-dear-daughter-natalie/, a blog by blogger Poh Huai Bin, someone who used to be a colleague of my mother’s. He had apparently blogged about me, when I was only 10 years old. It had been 7 years and I had unearthed something from my childhood which I kept suppressed in my memories simply because I didn’t want to remember it. I had a passion for writing unlike no one else I knew, and I realized then and there that I should stop listening to what the people around me were saying and just do what I loved doing.
With the support of my mother, we finally convinced the rest of my family members, particularly my conventional father, that I should be writing as a career in the future instead of completing a degree I had no interest in, and suffering while doing it. Today, I am a Communications major and one of the very few people in my class of a hundred who want to pursue writing upon graduation. My journey as a writer so far has been the most tumultuous– I have fallen in and out of love for it more often than Kim Kardashian changes sexual partners. I am constantly lazy and uninspired, and I write only to a small audience of supporters who are mostly my friends, but that does not stifle my passion for it.
That explains my dream job– a boring desk job sitting by the computer every day and typing away until I develop carpal tunnel syndrome; but that is what makes me happy. Earning a salary that won’t impress most people, most probably, but still going to work with nothing on my mind but pure, unadulterated happiness.