When I grow up

When I was younger, I had an ambition. I wanted to be a policewoman. This cleverly-crafted ambition was born after weeks of watching a TVB police show, after days of thinking it over while I was on the throne doing my business, while I was trying to fall asleep, while teachers were talking in class. It was my first ambition ever and I had spent most of my waking moments thinking and thinking about it.

I had everything perfectly sorted out and for the 8 year old me, that was a HUGE deal. I had envisioned it all in my head. Me in a uniform, me catching the bad wolves, me marrying another policeman, me settling down in a nice 2 bedroom apartment with him where we plot our next big catch together. We would be the most respected police couple in the office and we would both lead our own departments and solve big cases together. We were going to be so perfect.

I had been thinking about my ambition because my teacher told us to think about it so we could all present it in class. She was going to ask each of us to stand up and ask what we wanted to be when we grow up. Needless to say, I was so proud of my whole story of being a tough policewoman and marrying a policeman and catching thugs together. I was in an all-girls school and I knew all the other girls, in perfect meek voices would say,

“I want to be a doctor and save dying people!” “I want to be a lawyer and defend the weak!” “I want to be a nun like Mother Theresa!” (I was in a Convent school, so that’s perfectly possible)

A policewoman, wow, no one would ever think of that! Everyone would look up at me with admiring eyes and give me a standing ovation for sure! Breaking the societal norm, doing a job nobody wants, being a hero.

And then came the moment of glory. It was the night before my big presentation and I was talking to my parents about it. I had never told anyone about this before so I was excited and could barely catch my breath when I saw them coming through the door. I lived with my grandparents at the time and my parents only visited once every few weeks and I had been waiting all 2 weeks to tell them this!

“GUESS WHAT?? I know my ambition! I want to be a policewoman and catch bad people and marry a policeman and–”

My parents looked at me with admiring eyes and I knew they were impressed! Then they stifled a laughter and looked at my other relatives who all gathered around me. After some time, an outspoken aunt looked at me apologetically and said, “but dear, I think you are a little too fat to run after the thieves!”

a little too fat to run after the thieves

Those words broke my obese heart into a million pieces. Sure, I was a leeetle fat.

But surely, there are fat policewomen out there! I don’t have to run, I could shoot them down with my amazingly accurate shots!

That night I laid in bed tossing and turning and thinking this carefully over and over again. If even my own blood-related relatives laughed at me, what about my friends in school? Standing ovation, or a big HAHA with fingers pointing at me and hands over stomachs laughing their heads off?

The next day when I was called in class, I stood up and said “When I grow up, I want to be a doctor!” The teacher gave an approving smile and nodded in optimism, despite already having heard the same thing from 20 other students.

I sat back down with hardly an ovation, and continued doing my homework. I hated the thought of having ambitions ever since.

The moral of the story is not that you shouldn’t shoot down dreams of young kids and shatter their hopes for the future because that was my first realization that I was fat and was in need of a serious rethinking about my meal intakes (the fact that I only started doing that only 4 years later ¬†from that day is a different matter altogether wtf).

The moral of the story is..after 13 years, maybe it’s time to rethink this whole ambition thing. It’s not just about having a profession I want to cater my life goals around, but more of knowing what kind of person I want to be. Who do I want to serve in my life, what will make my 30 years of work life most happy, what will enrich my learning experience, money and comfort or self-actualization and personal fulfillment?

Maybe it’s way too early to think about the next 30 years, but too early is better than not realizing that these are important issues I want to tackle first before looking for an internship/job/grad school. Long story short, this is probably just an excuse for me to not start looking for an internship yet hehehhohohhaha wtf