At the age of thirteen, I wanted to be a housewife.
It was such a glorious job, taking care of your family, your husband, your children. You built a home. There was such job satisfaction. My favorite teen magazine published an article on careers for women, saying something about 'being just a housewife.' I wrote them an angry letter in the defense of housewives, which was actually published.
Then, my housewife mother sat me down and gently told me I could do whatever I wanted, after I had accumulated enough skills to make my own living. Being able to make money is very important, she said. It made sense.
So I decided to be a computer engineer. I would follow in my father's footsteps, start a business, be successful. I would wear business suits with high heels, sit in revolving chairs and seal million dollar deals with a handshake. ( I swear I wasn't high.)
In high school, I started preparing for entrance exams. I had inorganic chemistry from 5 am to 7 am, then school, then organic chemistry from 4pm to 5 pm, physics from 5 to 6, and maths from 6 to 7. I rode my blue Kinetic Honda scooter from coaching class to coaching class. It was fun, but something was missing. I debated with myself. I got frustrated. I started having little panic attacks.
Then my brother came home and sold me the idea of medicine. To be a doctor, he said. The respect, the satisfaction, the good you could do. My sister gave me Doctors to read. I was hooked. It would be wonderful, to be a doctor, a psychiatrist, to practise the science and the art of the mind. The maths class was switched to Genetics, then Botany and Zoology.
Some hundred exams and entrance tests later, here I am. I like my job, and I'm good at it.
But I wonder what would have happened if I'd gone for a degree in literature.