As a child, it’s common to have a dream for the future. These dreams are often based off of whatever interests us at the time and are often fleeting. One day you may want to be an astronaut, the next a sailor and the next a president. When you tell your family and loved ones, they’ll often encourage you and say, “that’s a great dream, you can certainly achieve it one day”. They say this even when they know that realistically it won’t happen, because they love you and want to offer you support all for one basic concept. Dreams are vital for setting the precedent for that child’s future and if they are stifled too soon, that child will give up before they’ve even thought to try. It’s ok to be a dreamer, it’s ok to believe that you can achieve the impossible. It’s ok to reach higher than what you may be able to realistically reach because in the end; it’s not about if you reach the end, but simply that you gave it your best shot. This is important, because only once you’ve given it your all, can you sometimes achieve the impossible and reach that impossible dream.
Yes, it can happen sometimes and when it does, it’s something that should really be celebrated. However, far more often, these impossible dreams remain as such and we are ultimately forced to take a step back and reach for something a bit more attainable. This is the situation I’ve recently found myself in. As a child, I was a dreamer. I wanted to be a nurse like my mom, then a veterinarian until I realized I disliked animals, then finally, I settled on a doctor like my uncle. The dream to be a doctor was the one that stuck with me from middle school onward and it was how I geared my academic pursuits. I kicked into high gear and improved my grades, especially in the sciences; finding my stride in high school and then began my college career as a Behavioral Neuroscience Major, Spanish Minor and on the Pre-Med track. With my uncle as my mentor, I was ready to reach for my dream.
I graduated from my undergraduate university Cum Laude, with a 3.34 gpa and the next step was medical school…well, that was how it should’ve gone. No, what actually happened was I graduated without getting into any medical school, as my MCAT score was nowhere near competitive and I had no exceptional medical background to speak of. I was mediocre as far as most medical students go and realistically I should’ve known then that I was in for a hard time if I continued on, yet I did it anyway. I kept on pushing because it was my dream. So if I couldn’t make it into a US medical school, I took the all too common alternate route, a caribbean medical school. Now, naturally some advisors advised against it, but I didn’t believe it was a bad option if I made sure to find the best school. So I researched and settled on the best med school St. Vincent had to offer. For the last two years, I’d spent my time there attempting to reach this dream, but as of August 2016, that dream officially got torn down, as I was dismissed from the school for failing to pass Pathology for the second time. This was my wake up call that the path of an MD just wasn’t for me.
Although that was a bit of a shock, to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t all that broken up about it. I was disappointed that I’d spent so much time and energy on it, but honestly I felt more relieved than anything else after getting that notice. It was at this point that I realized, at some point along this long journey, my passion for medicine had dulled and I no longer wanted to be a doctor. I’ve finally realized it and have accepted it, but now I’m facing a major change of direction and now with hundreds of thousands in loans to pay back, I’ve got to make a decision on where I’m going next. There are alternative paths to medicine outside the MD route, but the real question I have to ask myself now is…do I still want to pursue medicine? Here’s what I know for sure. I love Neuroscience and I do find medicine fascinating. However, when it comes to what I’ve found has brought me the most joy even in these last two years between studies, it’s been my oldest passion that I seemed to have forgotten…writing. I often opted to write for hours straight rather than study like I was supposed to. I often found myself realizing that I had to choose between writing and studying and if I’m honest with myself; though I knew I should choose study, I far too often chose writing and I’m sure my grades suffered because of it. Over the last year without a doubt, I was at my happiest when I was writing. It seems that upon losing one passion, I’d rediscovered another, my passion of writing.
I enjoyed writing from a young age. I was always writing random stories down in my spare notebooks, I would give lyric writing a shot as remixes to some of my favorite songs and even in school when others groaned at the picture prompt assignments, I was excited and eager. I loved picture prompts because it allowed me an outlet to release my vivid imagnination. The teachers always noticed how much I loved it and every english teacher I’ve ever had has complimented me on my excellent writing skills. My fondest memory of praise was in middle school, where my teacher chose my picture prompt story out of the other 25 students in class, to read aloud to everyone because she thought it was so good. Although embarrassing in the moment, I was so happy for weeks afterwards and even wrote a sequel to the story on my own. I kept hold of this story for years, but at some point I lost it and thinking back on it now, it really breaks my heart. It was my first public recognition of my writing and I somehow lost it, only able to now cling to the remnants of my memories of it. I think this is the moment that my deep passion for writing began.
Through the years, although pursuing my path into medicine was my focus, I still wrote various stories in between. I had a bad habit of starting new stories, but then stopping midway and losing interest. Soon, I had notebooks full of stories, poems, song lyrics and whatever else I happened to write about; I think I still have those somewhere. Writing has always been there, but somewhere along my journey to medicine, it got lost in the background and became nothing more than a hobby to do when I could. I had forgotten the joy that writing used to bring me and began to stress over my medical pursuits. I’d abandoned my world of writing for the sake of my dream, which usually isn’t a bad thing if the dream is worth it, but the problem was that at some point, it no longer was.
However, in my first year of medical school, it became clear that even if I’d forgotten my passion for writing; it hadn’t forgotten me. Inspiration struck and I found myself working on what would later become my proudest writing accomplishment to date, my first full length novel; Bound. It started as a simple idea and blossomed into a long story of love, loss and fate. I’d spent a full year and a half working on it and finally completed it at the end of last year. From this, the door to this wonderful world was reopened to me, and I began to work on other stories. Now I’ve got a 5 book series, Bound, a short story and my most recent ongoing work of Science Fiction to my name. Oh and there’s a fanfic too. 9 books in total that have either been completed or nearly completed and several of them have received high praise from my readers. These are the things that gave me life again. When I found myself at my wits end with school, it was something as simple as a friendly comment on one of my stories that boosted my spirits. I had found it again at last; my first love. I’d finally found my way back to the precious world I’ve always known.
So now here I am. I’ve failed at my first dream, have way more debt than I wish I had, have no job and no security for the future. So what do I do now? I’ve still got my BS in Neuroscience, my Spanish Minor and some medical background under my belt; that’s a plus. However, to do anything specific with it will more than likely require furthering my education more, which if I’m being honest, I don’t really want to do. Please understand, I still love neuroscience and I still have an interest in medicine, but now I’ve finally come to realize that writing is far too important to me to put on the back burner again. So what do I do? Well, I suppose the answer is all in front of me…I combine the two. I feel that the most logical next step for me would be to find a way to be able to continue writing, while using it to make a difference in the science and medical fields. I believe that’s where I’d like to go, but the problem now I’m facing is, I don’t know where to start. To get a job in technical or medical writing, I need either an advanced degree or 1-3 years of prior experience. Experience I can’t get because I don’t have the experience! It’s a pretty frustrating circle, but even still; I want to do it. I am determined to find a way.
So it would seem that now; I’ve become that dreamer once again and have found a new dream. There’s a lot of uncertainty, a lot of work to be done and I’m sure it’ll be challenging, but unlike my previous dream, I think that this one is far more attainable. Not because it’s easier or won’t require hard work. Not because I may still have to further my education in a writing related discipline at some point. No, it’s more attainable simply because it’s something I truly love and have always loved, even when I forgot I did. I’ve got a fire under me right now greater than I’ve had in quite a long time and I’m ready to take this challenge head on. I know that I’ll need to start researching my options, connecting with others in the field or even just those who’ve gone through this type of transition before. It’s this desire to connect with such people as well as market myself and my works that I’ve created this blog. I hope that I will be able to reach others who are going through this journey or those who may find themselves doing so soon. I don’t know exactly where I’m going and how things will end up. I very well could pursue this dream for years once again, only to fail at it during a crucial time. However, there’s still that rare chance that I will achieve this possibly impossible dream, because no matter how it ends, I would’ve given it my all. This post marks the beginning of my journey, my journey to find a new path in a world I’ve always known and never intend to leave again.