They told me that I had good grades
So it would be a shame to see them go to waste.
‘Be a doctor,’ they trilled at me.
They pushed, coerced and drilled
The dream of money as a doctor in
A private hospital with a waiting room
Full of comfy chairs and coffee and biscuits,
Complimentary for those who can afford
The astronomical fee that I would charge.
But I was shy and sensitive,
A bookish girl who loved to write
And disappear into another world.
What was I to do with all that money?
All that stress? No creative source?
They set me up for a fail but
It was my fault for listening, of course.
Now, even though I’m having a bit of a rocky situation with my mother at the moment, I’ve always loved my parents and valued their opinion. However, as I was growing up, I was a straight A student and they did start to nudge me in the direction of a career in medicine. And I followed their advice without question.
The problem is that once you leave secondary education you really have to love what you are studying if you have any chance of succeeding in it. And I was an arty, creative kid so all that science and maths suddenly became very overwhelming.
I ultimately failed and it has taken me until my mid thirties to come to the realisation that earning huge amounts of money really isn’t necessary, you do what you want because you enjoy it. I’m sure that many writers out there will agree with me that you don’t write for the money. You fit it around a crappy job that you don’t like so that you can feel creatively fulfilled.
What I’m really trying to say is that I wish I had had the confidence when I was younger to just go with my gut instinct. My parents’ advice always came from a place of love, but perhaps I should have listened to my own inner voice too.
If you’re struggling to make a decision in your life, by all means, ask people for advice, but check with yourself too!