“When I grow up I want to be…” This was the theme for my friend’s birthday. It was a good one as the usual themes involve rock stars, Disney or a particular era such as the 90’s. I actually had to stop and think, “What DID I want to be when I grew up?” I have to be honest with you… I wanted to be an archaeologist. Not Ross Geller but the Indiana Jones kind. I defy anyone who says Indiana Jones isn’t cool! I don’t know why, but the idea of digging up and discovering things that had never been found before sounded like the most amazing job in the world. When I was a little older it occurred to me that you actually needed qualifications for that sort of thing and when I grew even older I realised that you needed qualifications and experience for pretty much any job out there.
Obviously when you’re a kid your mind is going to change a lot and I think some people are just lucky in getting their dream job they wanted when they were young enough to know what it is. Other people are so determined that they work hard at it for years until they achieve it. But most of the time, you get so hard done by with the rejections or lack of money to fuel your ambition that you simply give up and get a desk job in a call centre somewhere. I’m not entirely sure where I fall, probably somewhere between working hard and giving up. I just drift along. At the beginning of my secondary school life I was actually pretty good at the scientific subjects and somehow that started dwindling when my brain thought, “Actually all this arty stuff seems like fun!” And so another change happened. I wanted to become an artist… and then I wanted to be an actress. I’ve changed my mind so many times, not really because I gave up on those dreams but because I became realistic. “Would this be a well-paid job if I had three kids and a mortgage?” Not that I ever thought about it that much. It was also because of education. It killed most of my dreams when I found out that I really am not that great at maths and science had just become too difficult to understand.
When I chose my first degree (BA in English with Creative Writing) it most definitely was not because I wanted to be a teacher. I just love reading and writing so much that it fired up a new ambition… become a writer! I’m now studying a Masters in Creative Writing in order to hone my writing skills. This is what I have learnt over the last three years of student-hood: I cannot for the life of me write poetry, people expect you to write full blown treatments, I write dialogue very well, I write humour fantastically, I’m the only Asian writer on my course, my writing is not flowery but it is weird. And why shouldn’t I become a writer? I am forever complaining about the tawdry script of Skins and other such useless programmes out there that shouldn’t really be on television and you don’t see too many Asian writers about now do you? So I say it’s onward and upward for the time being… and this time, if something stands in my way I’ll try and fight my corner better this time instead of giving up and sitting down (or sleeping in my case)!