“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
All throughout my life, people have always answered that question for me. No one ever really bothered to consider the fact that I may have my own ideas about what I want to do with my life. The people around me have always seen themselves as my self-appointed spokespersons. They never did speak for me. Every time that question was asked, before I had the chance to pipe up, voices clamor one over the other to determine my fate; a guillotine falling long before I was even called to the stands.
Naïveté took the best of me. Not knowing any better, I proceeded to go along whatever they wanted for me. But I ask, was it really for my sake… or was it more of an act to make a point? To prove that the humble Rabaccas of Lumban, Laguna were more than a bunch of rice farmers and mountain people. I see their point. My parents and grandparents have more than paved the way to ensure the future for us, their children. They are all professionals now. What’s wrong with that, right? But now I ask, why do they need me to become a doctor? They were given a choice to pave their own paths, why can’t I? Don’t dare tell me it's because they want what’s best for me. I’d be the judge of that, thank you very much.
There are so much more opportunities for career success aside from the path of medicine. Why can’t they understand that? I’m so damn tired of keeping up pretenses. This is the first, and probably the last, time that I’d lay myself bare.
I’ve always had a knack for the arts. The humanities intrigue me and the art of rhetoric, as well. But the best part about it is that I seem to have the aptitude for both. I never did get a chance to explore those options. My fate was chosen for me before I even knew what was happening. I didn’t know any better. I took the path they had laid out for me.
I am now in the health sciences, on my way to becoming an Occupational Therapy to be exact. And I admit that it has grown on me. I’ve grown to love this profession, and now that I’ve wrapped my head around the possibility of actually finding happiness in the rehabilitation sciences, they dare take this away from me.
I am no longer the puppet they can string along. I am legally an adult and I have chosen my lot in life. I want to be an occupational therapist. And what pisses me off the most is how much they diss my chosen profession in a pathetic attempt to steer me towards medicine.
To you, bitch: Masahista, my ass. You don’t know a thing about the things we do as therapists. You cannot judge the worth of a profession by the size of the paycheck. Shows how much you know, bitch. You crossed the line and I’m not going to stand idly by and let you step on me all over again. I’ve had enough of being stepped on. I’ve had enough of playing by your rules. No more. Diss my course, and you mess with the wrong people. You don’t know how much hard work we put in, how much blood, sweat, and tears we shed and to what end? To become some glorified masseuse? You wish. You want me to get not only my bachelor’s degree but also my MD degree from UP? You have no idea what you’re asking. I’m flattered you think so highly of me but that’s about it. You don’t know what we Iskos and Iskas go through each day, struggling for that elusive diploma. So, cut me some slack, goddammit. And I sure as hell am not going to let you diss what I’ve worked so hard for just because your narrow, ignorant mind cannot grasp what it means to be a student in the UNIVERSITY OF THE butterflyin' PHILIPPINES.
“I’m making all my own plans, throwing all my old ones away. I gotta grow up be someone, draw a map, find a path, take a breath, and run.” (And Run, by He is We)
I’m running away. Metaphorically. But unless the people I care about manage to wrap their narrow minds around the fact that I have my own life to live, I might just take that literally.
It’s high time I stood up for myself. It’s high time I chose to do what is right for me. Not what THEYthink is right for me… to choose not what makes them happy, but what makes ME happy. I deserve that, at least. I’m not gonna settle for anything less than what I deserve anymore. It’s my life to live, after all.