“Son, look how great it is to be a doctor!” my mom said to me. “You want to be a doctor when you grow up. People look up to doctors, you’ll make lots of money, and oh you get to help people too.”
Thus began my childhood brainwashing. Now, my tiger mom didn’t say those words verbatim, but it was along the same lines to convey the message of her unwavering philosophy of life’s ultimate goal: Obtain a prestigious profession that pays a sh!t ton of money. This was the metaphoric “canoe” she was so carefully carving out for me.
“I want to become a doctor,” I eventually started telling myself as I sat in that canoe. The brainwashing was so effective that when we took the personality inventory tests in middle school that was supposed to place us in a career field that matched our personality, I consciously chose answers that I knew would place me into the medical field. Calculating results… Yup, you guess it: medical field.
And there I went, paddling that canoe right into high school and Running Start (community college while in high school [I know, ridiculous, right?]) taking classes like inorganic chemistry and organic research classes because that’s what you were supposed to do, right? Turns out, I wasn’t able to hack chem and proceeded to have a mental breakdown because of the realization that 1) I lost my 4.0 (go ahead, ask any Asian child what their parents would do if that happened) and 2) I don’t like my chem/science classes so would I even be able to make it into med school or would I even enjoy it? Thankfully, my good friend Kim was able to talk some sense into me. SNAP OUT OF THIS MADNESS! An itch to go to business school? How bout you stop trying to be a doctor then? Oh. Maybe life is going to be just fine even if I didn’t become a doctor. Duh.
To be continued…jumping out of the canoe…