We Are Stardust

When I was in grade 5, I wanted to be a mathematician.

When I was in grade 7, I wanted to be an architect.

When I was in grade 9, I wanted to be a pianist.

When I was in grade 11, I wanted to be a pediatrician, although pharmacy also came under my radar.

When I was in first year university at UBC, I wanted to get into pharmacy for good, and abandoned the medicine idea.

When I was in fourth year pharmacy, I wanted to be a hospital pharmacist.

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We are stardust. I believe that our very existence in this universe is the product of a next-level series of events that happened just so, and that each of our purposes in life is also designed by our fate. Along our paths towards finding that purpose, we often become distracted by benign attractions or malignant temptations that present themselves at different stages in our lives. However, although unbeknownst to us at the time, I believe that each choice we make and every step we take is with a purpose in our personal Goldberg Machines. One thing leads to the next, and sometimes we look back and wonder how did everything fall so perfectly into place. Some may argue that things were not perfect at all; however, I believe that even negative or traumatic experiences are meant to be part of the journey, and are vital pieces of the mosaic that represents our identity at any given time.

Looking back at all my youth’s aspirations as outlined above, I am amused by how scattered and distracted I was. In grade 5, I thought that I wanted to be a mathematician because I could finish my Mad Minutes in 10 seconds. In grade 7, I thought that I wanted to be an architect because I had started taking art classes and loved to draw, and wanted to find a way to put it to use. In grade 9, I thought that I wanted to be a professional pianist because I was completely submerged in the beautiful depths of classical music while preparing for my performer’s diploma exams. In grade 11, I thought that I wanted to be a pediatrician because being a medical doctor seemed like what everyone else interested in healthcare wanted to be. Furthermore, I loved children, so being a pediatrician seemed to be the perfect fit. That same year, I was introduced to the world of pharmacy through a work experience, and I believe that was one of the most steps to where I am today.

During first year university, I spent the year feeling very out of place in a room full of crème de la crème keen students, and I had many conversations with my classmates about what they wanted to major in. I was surprised by the proportion of people who had plans to go into pharmacy/pharmacology/biochem/physiology and then apply for medicine. The more I heard, and the more I talked, the more I realized that I was not really cut out for medicine. And so I began my pilgrimage to the field that I now call my home, pharmacy. I was absolutely elated when I found out that I was accepted into pharmacy, and somehow I just knew that I was on track. I remember very distinctly during a gathering with my first year classmates, I was engaged in a conversation with two other girls about what we our plans were for the following year. I mentioned to them that I had declined my pharmacology offer and accepted pharmacy. Much to my surprise, instead of congratulating me, they both stared at me incredulously and questioned why I did not go for pharmacology. Then and now, that is a question that I never hesitate to answer: quite simply, because I chose pharmacy. (I could go into all the reasons why, but that is not the point here.)

However, even after I was in pharmacy, I was lost for a bit. I was blind-folded by the limits of my school curriculum and by my own ignorance, and did not even think to explore the realm of hospital pharmacy in my first 3 years. But something awoke within me at the end of my third year, and I began to make up for lost time. Every single person I had met, shadowed, talked to, or worked with has been instrumental in the process of my personal growth. Now, as I look back on the last few years, it is unbelievable how nicely things fell in place for me, and I can almost forget the inner turmoil and anxiety I felt throughout the whole process. This year of residency has truly been a defining and landmarking time of my life, and it is now such an important part of my identity that I can’t imagine who I would be if I had not decided to do a residency. Hospital practice is something I have discovered that I am passionate about, and I feel that I have found one of the main purposes in life for which I was created for.

On another note, I believe that love is also governed by fate. A series of events happen just so, and two unlikely individuals may be brought together to discover a soul mate in one another. Although times during this journey may be uncertain, confusing, or deleterious, I believe that each step we take has a purpose, and will lead us to finding that person with the most perfect of imperfections who will love us as much as we adore them, if not more.

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