Have you ever had a dream so big that the idea of even attempting to achieve it seems absurd? Have you ever given up on a vision solely for fear of failing? Well for me, the rigorous dream I was too afraid to follow was the one of becoming a surgeon in the US. I have never been able to settle on a profession before; I have gone from wanting to be a photographer to an entrepreneur. But over the iterations and ideas, the job that has never been entirely discarded was the one of becoming a doctor.
I have always been fond of the sciences; I remember being in elementary and counting the days to get to middle school just because we would be able to conduct remarkable experiments. In the seventh grade, I got third place in the science fair and in ninth grade I attended to my first operation room experience. These events all sparked a curiosity in me that propelled me into finding interest in the department of sciences, bringing me to the end goal of becoming a surgeon.
While the idea seems achievable (after all every year numerous students earn their medical degree) as time went by, my brain did what it knew best to do: Overthink. I took this idea of becoming a surgeon and found every flaw of the plan. What if I failed? What if I wasn't accepted to med school? These were all real concerns that were important to keep in mind; after all, forewarned is forearmed, but all they did was suppress my dream until it vanished.
What happened was that every time I let this negativity take control over my life, I resorted to a backup plan. Call it business, marketing, psychology or design, I found level 'b' plans that would ensure safety college-wise. As soon as I found medical school too much of a challenge I would shift to these careers that nested my deep insecurities. But don’t get me wrong; I find all of these vocations of high rigor, yet I was being driven by fear rather than passion. In a way, I was being a 'scaredy-cat', and it took me a while to figure it out.
I had already been suspecting this realization for months. I had begun to enjoy my biology class a lot, and every time I heard the word 'doctor' my eyes popped open, but I had never uttered idea out loud. It wasn't until yesterday's dinner when I was talking to my parents that the words blurted out of my mouth. "Mom, Dad, I think I want to study medicine again." I was waiting for surprise in my parents response or sort of reaction in the least; instead my mom just said: "I knew it."
My mom and dad are the type of parents that would support any decision I make regarding my future. As long as I'm happy, they're happy, which is why they have supported my unending career search. But it turns out that they always thought I would end up studying medicine. My mom explained that whenever she heard me talking about the subject she could feel the excitement in my voice, and in a way, it was true. As our food was being served, I explained all of my concerns and worries, and before I knew it, a long conversation began to take place.
We spent hours on the dining table discussing university plans and basically my future. I voiced my troubles, and my parents addressed them; but as the conversation started to perish my mom said a combination of words that I doubt I'll ever forget. Forgive me for my faulty paraphrasing, but here goes the staggering lesson: "The worst mistakes are the ones you never make. Don't reject a career for fear of failure, because if you do, you will always wonder 'what if.'"
As I began to process the words my mother was saying, I came to an understanding. I saw that fear will do nothing but restrain you, and I began to accept failure as it was: an impending challenge I would have to face every so often. Failure is a ubiquitous part of life, and every failure I face has and will forever determine who I am and will become. And while it may have taken me about a year and a 2-hour deep conversation with my parents, I was able to realize it. I finally saw that the biggest failure isn't trying and failing, but the irreversible mistake of failing to try.
“The earth has music for those who listen.”