When I Grow Up.

Ever looked back and remembered the times when you were a kid and you would happily proclaim, “When I grow up..I wanna be..”

I did. I’m sure many others did too.

When I was in primary school, I decided I wanted to be a doctor. For whatever reasons I didn’t know then, but I suspected it was because, like many other children who have been conditioned to think that the occupations and careers that could bring you the most money, the honor and prestige belonged to the engineers, the doctors and the lawyers. If you had anyone of them in your family, it was a big deal, if you were one of those, you were a big fuck.

But I think my parents had other plans for me, while they never gave me much pressure with regards to my academic grades, and never told me what to do when I grew up, I suspect they had their own plans. I was enrolled into piano lessons. I stuck to it for a grand total of 3 years before deciding, one week before my Grade 3 theory exams that I wanted to quit. Like many other kids, it was obvious that this amounted to. Pandemonium erupted throughout the house when I announced my decision. I defiantly stuck my chin out and refused to change my decision. The parents realised this was one area they couldn’t have a say in.

Strange that after primary school, I lost track of who I wanted to be when I grew up. It sort of swung from being a doctor, to a marine scientist, to a forensic scientist, to a lawyer. Obviously that all didn’t work out, and somewhere along the way, I think I not only lost track of who I wanted to be, but who I had become.

So it was on this morning that I suddenly remembered what I dreamed of being as a kid. To be honest, I don’t know what I might do after graduation, and I’m pretty sure many people don’t as well. I mentally went through the choices I had, and it struck me how, as you got older, you become more limited in what you wanted to do. Gone are the days when, as a kid, you could dream dreams bigger than yourself. Perhaps this was also because as we grew older, we become more certain of what we could and couldn’t do.

Which is a pity if you ask me. Why should we not be allowed to dream the dreams we once had as kids, even though these may be unachievable?

Life is no fun without dreams. Think of it as a complementary relationship, if you will. If we aren’t allowed to dream, we’d never know our limits, we’d never know what we were capable of doing, and we would all be stuck in dead-end jobs being unhappy.

Dreams may be unattainable, but they give us a glimpse of what we could do, what we can achieve. With dreams, the possibilities are endless.

So maybe, just maybe, when I grow up, I want to be a dreamer. I never want to lose the ability to dream. πŸ™‚



  1. You know what I wanna be when I grow up.

    *wink wink nudge nudge*

    And you missed Massive Attack on Arts Central just now.

  2. Reality will always be dreaming to me and will be to you as long as you believe it is. Age is just a number. Nothing is stopping you from being young on the inside. However, some people are better off not knowing their dreams no matter what age they are. Dreams will tell the truth, and sometimes, well, the truth sucks, and you end up having to accept the life this world limits you to have. Nevertheless, I believe anything is possible if you believe.

  3. mykel: errr..a rich tai tai’s boy toy?
    Massive Attack!! sheesh..but then again…I don’t think I can watch it in school right?

    NeverRed: hmm, yep, true =)

  4. …growing up, I was always chastised for being such a “dreamer”, for being “too dreamy” … It was supposedly a very negative trait.

    *shrug* I never quite understood why.

    I just got the impression there was something wrong with me.

    … *sigh*


  5. We’re always made to think there’s something wrong with us. =)

  6. I’m the opposite, you know. I actually loved the ballet classes my parents enrolled me in. I wanted to be a dancer when I grew up. Haha.

    But well, you know parents. They latch on to your apparent interest and start to push you so hard that your love for your passion dies and you rebel by quitting. Well, I did, at least.

    So I went through all that mental switching from one ambition to another, and now hey, I don’t know what I want to do when I graduate too.

    But whatever it is, I’m still living in the what-ifs. I still dream of being a dancer, from time to time. (:

  7. dreams. they give us something to work towards. something to aim for. but something we usually fall short of. dreams. a double edged sword.

  8. Cheryl: Haha, I hated my piano lessons with a vengeance. But it was partly because my piano teacher pushed me really hard. So I decided to quit =P

    The best thing about mentally switching jobs is that you could be anything you wanna be, *laugh*. I’ve thought of being a teacher (god forbid) to being in Civil Defence – I thought I would look really cool in the uniform haha!!

    MOS: hmmm, i never really see it as a bad thing if we fall short of them. or rather, i never really thought of it that way.

  9. I think sometimes our dreams are what we make of them by what we do each and every day. I still want to be a fireman, but I know that being a fireman will never pay what I make as a systems engineer. My second choice was to be a photographer, taking landscapes in foreign lands.

    My dream of being a firefighter has come true in a way … in a way I’m a firefighter at work. Problems come up and we deal with them, prevent them, prepare for them and live within them. And as for becoming a photographer .. I still love to take photos and develop prints … and enjoy seeing the world through the lens of my camera and through the images others have captured.

    We can live out our dreams in the context of who we are today .. right? I sure hope so because this other dream has … well that’s a tale for another day. πŸ™‚

  10. lerxst: hmmm, that’s another way of looking at it, thanks for shedding some perspective! =)

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