2016 Essay Competition - View all entries
Sheza Patel - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
I was born with a label marked "to be doctor" my opinion was regarded less by people around me. I belong to family where parents are extremely persuasive of their children's career choices. For many families in the region that I live in, career choice is limited to doctors, engineers and lawyers; however my family goes one step further and restricts it to doctors, as it is considered one of the noblest professions.
My grandfather was a doctor, my father was and to keep legacy now I am too. Similar to Agoge, the Spartan doctrine a child is born with the aim of being a doctor, you are taught and trained vigorously through various tuition classes to score well in science your marks in subject's like literature and humanities are generally ignored. If by mistake you happen to score more in those subjects in comparison to science you were well brought in line. I remember the first time my parents learned that I wrote poetry was when I won a price in school, they congratulated me but that was followed by strong advice "don't ignore your studies".
I was constantly reminded of the 12th grade exams, the most important battle to gain a place as royal guard of honor aka entry into medical course. I managed to hustle myself through the exams and gained entry into dental course, which was regarded as inglorious minority in a family of heart surgeons, neurologists etc. The very first year of my studies when I had to simulate the anatomy of a tooth on wax, I ran back and told my family that I wish to drop out. Of course my plea met with resonating negative response and I was persuaded back to complete my education. I did it with good marks and I pushed myself to excel and like the field. I started practicing as dentist and I am doing well but a constant feeling on incompleteness stayed in my heart. I tried to speak to people around, wrote more poetries and short stories, but something still bothered me and I couldn't locate it. Once while scrolling through wallpapers for phone I came across a saying if you chose what you love you never have to work a day.
I set out on huge quest to find my passion, which began with soul searching followed quickly by hours of internet search lasting over weekend. Next Monday I was back to practice and patients. However, during the search I learnt about my personality type and how so many of my quirks are related to my personality type. I decided to go back to the age when I was in my school and take aptitude test. I did so and it gave out a list of results ranging from teaching, counseling psychologist to human resource manager. I was a good listener and gave sound advice to people who came to me but I never thought of taking it as career. I realized most of my patients consult about their issues in life apart from their dental pain.
I knew I couldn't go back to the age and change my career and education path and I hate teaching a class, knew that for sure. I came up with something that matched results with my personality type. I chose to be a volunteer counselor. I started off by working with a friend who had issues with public speaking, since I was good at it I was able to teach him the skills one on one, this was followed by helping students who struggle to find career path. To them I advice to chose career in line with their interest and if you happen to end up in other job don't stop doing what you love.
Even though I earn my living by practicing as dentist, working as counselor is more fulfilling job and it fills the gap that I was experiencing. I read somewhere that each individual is gifted with specific skills that one can use to make world a better place, to that I add don't die without using those skills to help another being. I hope to take this goal ahead and form a community group that helps each other with their skills regardless of the job they chose.