So what did you want to be when you grew up? Were you even asked this question? Did you even wonder, or were you told to do this-and-this and become a so-and-so and fate was decided for you?
For me, growing up in the 90s, with limited access to a computer at first, made me marvel at the creation that a computer was. In the international school I was in, we had one Apple Macintosh computer. I didn’t really know the true applications of a computer back then, I would just play games and type stuff, and for me, that was the dream. I had learnt the term “computer programmer” and I wanted to be one. I was under the impression that computer programmers went clickety-click and did fun amazing things on computers all day.
Many years later, I was awakened from this dream when I realised that I absolutely hated math and had lost interest in computer science. By the time the awkward teenage years hit, I was still clueless as to what I wanted to do with my life. By then, my friends had already found their fortes, some in science, some in math, some in accounting, and some in their parents’ businesses. The only thing I was unfailingly good at, was writing stuff. I dabbled in poetry and short stories for fun, but the extreme pressures of laziness and well “life in general”, never allowed me to fully pursue it. I had never written for youth supplements in newspapers, which was very popular during my school days, and my first published work was for our school yearbook.
During A levels, I motivated myself enough to study English Literature, although language was the first choice, and surprisingly, as tough as it was, I quite enjoyed it. I found studying poetry cumbersome, but poured over the novels.
I’ve always had a love or hate relationship with my English teachers - they either loved me or hated me. I would stumble in late to my English Literature class sometimes (because I was busy playing all sorts of sporty goodness during free periods) and so one day my teacher looked at me sternly and murmured, “Just because you’re good doesn’t give you the right to do whatever you want!” I gulped down humble pie and smiled back sheepishly. Needless to say, (and much to my teacher’s dismay) I still proclaim my love for her in a dramatic manner whenever I see her!
Also during A levels, I started making announcements during assembly for various events and from there I overcame my fear of public speaking (one of the reasons why I could never do well in debates). It really helped when I started university, because I ended up earning a business degree and one of my majors was marketing, which required me to make a lot of presentations. I fell in love with presenting and ended up doing a lot of part time work in advertising agencies, hosting events and for a short while, even hosted a fashion-related show on TV (no Google won’t help). I figured the media line was for me, and opted to work in marketing and advertising related jobs after I graduated.
However, life had different plans for me. As you must already know from previous issues, I conceived soon after getting married, and didn’t get the chance to go back to work. I had Jellybean and had zero time to even think about a career of any sort. But I never stopped working in different ways - I taught students and did project based writing work that I could do from home. The money wasn’t much, but at least I had the satisfaction of not letting my brain remain useless and dry up like a forgotten prune.
Then when Jellybean was older, I started my masters, and decided to leave the world of business and venture into communication, because that felt like my true calling. In the middle of all this, the persona of The Bong Momma (which had been hibernating) finally broke through my wall of procrastination and that’s how this column came to be.
I knew I had finally found the right path for myself, after years and years of contemplation of what would become of me. The final strengthening aspect was when I returned to work, doing what I do best, writing and communication work for a development organisation.
When I think of my journey, and even the journey ahead, it astounds me as to how little we know ourselves and of what we can truly become and achieve. That little girl who once wanted to be a computer programmer is now something, and someone totally different.
No, that’s not wholly true. I’m still me, and I still dream and one day, I might just be the president...
Yes I can!