Life lessons

On following your dreams

medium_5211568328

Born in India? Are you an Engineer or doctor? True dreams, passion, do they exist? Are they being chased by this generation?

Being born in India and growing up in the 90s, the expectation for almost every child was to become a doctor or an engineer. Not many rebelled. Most followed the norm.

I didn’t really know what I wanted to do for a while. When I was in primary school, I dabbled with becoming a doctor. Probably because I enjoyedΒ wearing my dad’s white coat and stethoscope around my neck pretending to be one. I then dabbled with being a teacher. And I was pretty good at it. Bossing around my family and later, my sister while pretending to be a teacher was a whole lot of fun! Then I saw what it was like for my teachers at school and kinda got rid of that idea. The emphasis through school was on getting good grades. I did for a while and then we moved to India when I was in Year 6 {6th standard for those in India} and my grades took a massive hit. The only subject I continued to perform well in and enjoy was English. To the point where I would be writing poems during Maths and Science classes.

In Year 8, aged 13, I decided what my calling would be. I was going to be a journalist. A sports journalist.

But in India, a country where every parent wants their child to be an engineer or doctor, this was going to be a tad difficult. When I told my parents, they were fortunately very supportive. My dad, a doctor himself, didn’t want me to become one. My mum was a bit more sceptical and thought I would do well as a doctor. {Apparently, it didn’t matter to her that Chemistry and Physics made no sense to me whatsoever!}

By the time I completed my school certificate, I was ready to enrol into an Arts course for junior college. But the problem was, I did reasonably well in my exams and finished with an 85%. This resulted in ‘well-wishers’ questioning my intention to pursue Arts. Except for my dad and my mother’s brother and his wife, every other person thought I should pursue Science in Year 11 and 12. Mum managed to get a bit more influenced by these well-wishers and began suggesting the same.

Eventually I lost it.

I did what I did best. I rebelled. I debated mum and put up a reasonable argument. Sure I’d done well in my school certificate but it was all thanks to rote learning. I hated Science. Physics, Chemistry and to an extent, Biology. There was no way I was going to pass and I would require extra tutoring which only meant more money to spend. Fortunately for me, mum saw the light and gave in. It wasn’t the case for so many of my classmates. Almost every one I know from high school went on to become an engineer and a few, doctors.

I started to follow my dream to become a journalist but then, in my 11th and 12th, I studied psychology for the first time. And another path called out to me. Eventually, this path won over the journalistic path — possibly due to my personality at the time.

It’s a path I haven’t regretted. Being a child psychologist for 6 years now, I have no regrets. I love my work and I’m passionate about it. I feel so grateful each day when children, adolescents and their families trust me with their deepest and darkest fears. Me, a total stranger. Sometimes, changes occur. At other times they don’t. But I’m still doing what I love. Unlike some of my high school friends who work because they have to. Who don’t seem to have a passion for their engineering careers.

I have been lucky though — to have another passion. For writing. That’s where this blog has played a big role. Additionally, it’s not a dream I’m going to give up on. I start another uni course next week in Creative Writing.

Some day, down the track, I hope to merge both my passions.

Until then, I continue to dream and live.

What about you? Did you follow your dreams and passions?

Do share!Β 

***Linking with Indispire22***

photo credit: Nabok via photopin cc

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

You Might Also Like

  • Shailaja V
    21 July 2014 at 9:49 pm

    I can understand the pressure you must have faced. On a personal note, I was lucky to have the most supportive parents ever when it came to any decision. I opted to pursue Maths and Literature during my A-levels and they willingly complied. AFter that I chose to do Psychology, Literature and Journalism and they were uber cool with that as well. Finally, I majored in English Literature and did well because I loved the subject. Years later, I am writing, in the field of education and doing things that I love. Cannot ask for more. So, yes, I guess I am following my dreams to a large extent πŸ™‚
    Shailaja V recently posted…Raindrops on my head- Five Sentence FictionMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      21 July 2014 at 10:12 pm

      It’s so good when you have supportive parents. I’m glad at least one of mine was supportive from the start and never wavered. Both my sister and I were lucky to not have to follow the conventional paths of Engg and Medicine. Glad to hear your parents were so supportive and you love what you do Shailaja! πŸ™‚

  • Shailaja V
    21 July 2014 at 9:49 pm

    I can understand the pressure you must have faced. On a personal note, I was lucky to have the most supportive parents ever when it came to any decision. I opted to pursue Maths and Literature during my A-levels and they willingly complied. AFter that I chose to do Psychology, Literature and Journalism and they were uber cool with that as well. Finally, I majored in English Literature and did well because I loved the subject. Years later, I am writing, in the field of education and doing things that I love. Cannot ask for more. So, yes, I guess I am following my dreams to a large extent πŸ™‚
    Shailaja V recently posted…Raindrops on my head- Five Sentence FictionMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      21 July 2014 at 10:12 pm

      It’s so good when you have supportive parents. I’m glad at least one of mine was supportive from the start and never wavered. Both my sister and I were lucky to not have to follow the conventional paths of Engg and Medicine. Glad to hear your parents were so supportive and you love what you do Shailaja! πŸ™‚

  • Vishal Bheeroo
    21 July 2014 at 10:42 pm

    That’s the sad thing which I observed with many Indian parents across the globe. It’s good for your parents to understand your dreams and wish u the very best with creative writing course. I am an India born outside where the parents settled but the Indian pressure was present. Read for Economics course in India while I wanted to study film making. Found my true calling much later as a journalist.
    Let’s keep the faith and may all your dreams come true.
    V

  • Vishal Bheeroo
    21 July 2014 at 10:42 pm

    That’s the sad thing which I observed with many Indian parents across the globe. It’s good for your parents to understand your dreams and wish u the very best with creative writing course. I am an India born outside where the parents settled but the Indian pressure was present. Read for Economics course in India while I wanted to study film making. Found my true calling much later as a journalist.
    Let’s keep the faith and may all your dreams come true.
    V

  • Bhavya
    21 July 2014 at 11:34 pm

    The good trend that I have noticed among parents is that they are more and more supportive of what you would call unconventional careers and want the best for their child where the child would shine.

    Bhavya recently posted…Dear MotherMy Profile

  • Bhavya
    21 July 2014 at 11:34 pm

    The good trend that I have noticed among parents is that they are more and more supportive of what you would call unconventional careers and want the best for their child where the child would shine.

    Bhavya recently posted…Dear MotherMy Profile

  • Corinne Rodrigues
    21 July 2014 at 11:56 pm

    I’m a great believer in following one’s dream however delayed they are, Sanch. I’m so glad you’re doing what you love and doing a great job of it too!
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…Worry Is A Misuse Of The ImaginationMy Profile

  • Corinne Rodrigues
    21 July 2014 at 11:56 pm

    I’m a great believer in following one’s dream however delayed they are, Sanch. I’m so glad you’re doing what you love and doing a great job of it too!
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…Worry Is A Misuse Of The ImaginationMy Profile

  • Aditi
    22 July 2014 at 1:07 am

    Been there… the pressure of taking up Science because you have good grades, everyone around expecting you to become an Engineer just as your Dad. Physics went straight over my head. Finally pursued Eco and Finance. But my true calling lies in Arts – Dance and Writing and I am working on my passions now! Here’s to chasing your dreams no matter the age! Thankfully today’s generation has a lot many options and guidance!
    Aditi recently posted…Inspired by GreenMy Profile

  • Aditi
    22 July 2014 at 1:07 am

    Been there… the pressure of taking up Science because you have good grades, everyone around expecting you to become an Engineer just as your Dad. Physics went straight over my head. Finally pursued Eco and Finance. But my true calling lies in Arts – Dance and Writing and I am working on my passions now! Here’s to chasing your dreams no matter the age! Thankfully today’s generation has a lot many options and guidance!
    Aditi recently posted…Inspired by GreenMy Profile

  • Sulekha
    22 July 2014 at 5:11 am

    I started as a science student but my passion lay in arts. I decided to live my dream after I had completed my graduation in Zoology, my parents were always with me and blessed me. I love writing and books, here I am writing πŸ™‚

  • Sulekha
    22 July 2014 at 5:11 am

    I started as a science student but my passion lay in arts. I decided to live my dream after I had completed my graduation in Zoology, my parents were always with me and blessed me. I love writing and books, here I am writing πŸ™‚

  • Avada Kedavra
    22 July 2014 at 7:56 am

    It was nice to know that your parents supported your dreams. Not many parents do that. I have seen parents force their children to do something they hate. I have seen people who end up copying assignments or projects as they have no interest in doing them. They are studying for the sake of a degree which their parents want them to have. I chose engineering, even though everyone in my family wanted me to become a doctor because I loveeee mathematics and science.
    Avada Kedavra recently posted…Jack of all tradesMy Profile

  • Avada Kedavra
    22 July 2014 at 7:56 am

    It was nice to know that your parents supported your dreams. Not many parents do that. I have seen parents force their children to do something they hate. I have seen people who end up copying assignments or projects as they have no interest in doing them. They are studying for the sake of a degree which their parents want them to have. I chose engineering, even though everyone in my family wanted me to become a doctor because I loveeee mathematics and science.
    Avada Kedavra recently posted…Jack of all tradesMy Profile

  • lux
    22 July 2014 at 8:18 am

    go get it, Sanch!
    lux recently posted…Day 19: A Story In 25 Words: The Wedding GuestMy Profile

  • lux
    22 July 2014 at 8:18 am

    go get it, Sanch!
    lux recently posted…Day 19: A Story In 25 Words: The Wedding GuestMy Profile

  • Eli
    22 July 2014 at 8:32 am

    YES! Follow your dreams wherever they may lead – I strongly believe in! I have been so lucky to have been able to do that, and am grateful every day for what life can give. So happy to read your story here – and see you also got to follow your dream . Its great to have supportive parents are others around – can mean the world.
    Eli recently posted…Summer salad bluesMy Profile

  • Eli
    22 July 2014 at 8:32 am

    YES! Follow your dreams wherever they may lead – I strongly believe in! I have been so lucky to have been able to do that, and am grateful every day for what life can give. So happy to read your story here – and see you also got to follow your dream . Its great to have supportive parents are others around – can mean the world.
    Eli recently posted…Summer salad bluesMy Profile

  • Pixie
    22 July 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I totally understand the pressure to conform because I grew up in the same era!
    I didn’t completely rebel and did my BSc and then MCA.. but then I loved Maths and Physics and was good at it too! πŸ™‚
    I followed by dreams and my passion when I was working and now, I am doing the same. Its been rewarding so far. πŸ™‚

    I am glad that you rebelled too and followed your dreams because that’s the best thing we can do and keep ourselves happy πŸ™‚
    Pixie recently posted…Consequences – another taleMy Profile

  • Pixie
    22 July 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I totally understand the pressure to conform because I grew up in the same era!
    I didn’t completely rebel and did my BSc and then MCA.. but then I loved Maths and Physics and was good at it too! πŸ™‚
    I followed by dreams and my passion when I was working and now, I am doing the same. Its been rewarding so far. πŸ™‚

    I am glad that you rebelled too and followed your dreams because that’s the best thing we can do and keep ourselves happy πŸ™‚
    Pixie recently posted…Consequences – another taleMy Profile

  • Shilpa Garg
    22 July 2014 at 4:26 pm

    I can relate to the pressure the society (more than the parents) puts on a child for choosing a career path. Wonder when we will think beyond being Doctors and Engineers! Glad that you followed your heart and are doing such a noble and a satisfying job! Kudos to you, Sanch πŸ™‚
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…ItҀ™s All BlackMy Profile

  • Shilpa Garg
    22 July 2014 at 4:26 pm

    I can relate to the pressure the society (more than the parents) puts on a child for choosing a career path. Wonder when we will think beyond being Doctors and Engineers! Glad that you followed your heart and are doing such a noble and a satisfying job! Kudos to you, Sanch πŸ™‚
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…ItҀ™s All BlackMy Profile

  • J.Gi Federizo
    22 July 2014 at 5:33 pm

    LIKE!

    One thing I realized that I would have wanted to be back in college was to be a Psychologist. But lumping it with Science courses, I thought I probably could never make it as a Psychologist anyway because ever since high school began, Science hated me for some reason.
    J.Gi Federizo recently posted…MAYA [CHAPTER 3: REUNIONS, Scene 5]My Profile

  • J.Gi Federizo
    22 July 2014 at 5:33 pm

    LIKE!

    One thing I realized that I would have wanted to be back in college was to be a Psychologist. But lumping it with Science courses, I thought I probably could never make it as a Psychologist anyway because ever since high school began, Science hated me for some reason.
    J.Gi Federizo recently posted…MAYA [CHAPTER 3: REUNIONS, Scene 5]My Profile

  • Datta Ghosh
    22 July 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Nicely put, Yes in India consistent good grades=science

  • Datta Ghosh
    22 July 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Nicely put, Yes in India consistent good grades=science

  • Destination Infinity
    23 July 2014 at 11:10 am

    Mine was a mid-career shift. I was working as an engineer for six and a half years by the time I decided to quit and take an unconventional career path. Of course there was opposition, but by this time, I was independent enough not to bother about all that. Good to know that you are in a career other than engg./medicine, and you like it!

    Destination Infinity

  • Destination Infinity
    23 July 2014 at 11:10 am

    Mine was a mid-career shift. I was working as an engineer for six and a half years by the time I decided to quit and take an unconventional career path. Of course there was opposition, but by this time, I was independent enough not to bother about all that. Good to know that you are in a career other than engg./medicine, and you like it!

    Destination Infinity

  • 30 Letter Series: Dear Parents - Living my Imperfect Life
    19 August 2017 at 9:47 am

    […] me to do my own thing as long as I let you know of my whereabouts. And of course, that you finally gave in to me wanting to pursue arts instead of […]

  • 30 Letter Series: Dear Parents - Living my Imperfect Life
    19 August 2017 at 9:47 am

    […] me to do my own thing as long as I let you know of my whereabouts. And of course, that you finally gave in to me wanting to pursue arts instead of […]