Childhood dreams and fairy tales, playing pretend in frilly dresses, or Buzz Lightyear space suits, with the streets as the playground, the sun on our backs.
At some point in our lives, we were children, free to dream, not hindered by reality or the improbabilities of events. We weren’t rational and imaginations run wild.
I wanted to be an astronaut, a ballerina, an equestrian, a submarine engineer, a pirate, a tiger tamer, a circus gymnast, an expert wine connoisseur, a Suisse chef in the restaurant at the Tour de Eiffel, a backpacking photographer, an artiste, a triathlete. And that’s only touching the surface of my improbable dreams.
And then I remember my grandma getting sick with cancer, and she then asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Without missing a beat, I dropped all of the aforementioned improbable dreams to become my grandmama’s super hero. “I will be a doctor so that you won’t get sick anymore, and if you’d die before I become one, I’d still be a doctor to help people not get sick like you did.” And that dream stuck ever since.
I’ve never exerted that much effort into my studies before, not wanting to sound like a total douche-face, I confess that academics always and uneventfully came as a breeze to me. I never did need to study. I just skimmed over books, and lessons, absorbing knowledge without much difficulty. People always praised me for how much of a bright kid I was.
High school passed without any real challenge academically, and sooner or later I got myself enrolled in the best educational system anyone in the Philippines could ever get herself into.
Studying with the best required me to study better, invest more time into reading my lessons, which I have not been able to do for most of my life. It was a really hard adjustment for me. Fast forward to the now, with only one year more to go of my undergraduate studies, I could proudly say, that I coped. I coped with the rigorous demands of the UP system, maybe not well in the standards of other people, but for me it was already exceptional, I had time for my studies without hindering my social life – which everyone needs after all.
Why am I writing about this? Well, today I got pretty mind blowing (heart wrenching, tummy clenching, feet stopping, anatomically shifting my homeostasis) news, I just got an opportunity to study in the probably (according to Wikipedia) biggest medical school in the whole world, the Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina, or the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba.
With all the opportunity and promise jam packed into that email, I am ecstatic. I am excited, exhilarated, terrified. I really do hope I get in. I really do want this. Travel to South America to study, knowing no one, all alone, it’s an opportunity. It’s a grand adventure. One year to prepare, time flies by when you’re not looking after all.
For the meantime, I’ll just be going on with my normal life, at least I have something to look forward to. (OMG I really got that email and it’s not a hoax OMG OMG OMG okay. Enough. I have to prepare for class today. Back to my mundane life.) This won’t be the last time I blog about this, but right now, I really need to prepare for class. :>