Whenever I am in the hospital, I am reminded of the days I was a St John Ambulance cadet. We had some training in basic nursing, specifically, home nursing, in addition to first-aid. Those days, my bestfriend and I both wanted to study medicine. (On a side note, we both also wanted PhDs since we were 12 years old... at least that is still a possibility!) Yes, I wanted to be a doctor. That ambition was quickly shelved, for both of us, when we found out how much it would cost our parents. At one time, I seriously considered nursing as career. We had some of our nursing training at a government hospital, and the (probably underpaid and overworked) nurses were, to put it politely, not the friendliest beings I've encountered. I told myself that if I were ever to be a nurse, I'd treat all my patients with kindness, tenderness and pleasant facial expressions. I know I would make a great caregiver. *Ahem*
Among other things (ie., becoming a physicist, complete with the Nobel prize dream *Ahem*) I'd once also considered undertaking Forestry or Botany. When I was 15 or 16, I told my parents that when I was done with school, I would build myself a little hut in the middle of a jungle and stay there on my own. I wanted to study nature in peace and be distanced from all other people. My father was "supportive". He said, sure - I can do whatever I like... after they're both dead. Oh, well.
So, I did Engineering.
Funny thing is, I'd never thought of it until I enrolled for it. Granted, when I started college, I took general subjects suitable for a variety of degrees in the sciences, but it was somehow decided I would move towards Mechanical Engineering (but no, I ended up doing a different major in engineering... another long story there). Throughout my one and a half years in college, I'd briefly considered switching to Psychology (but my father was concerned that that wouldn't make me a decent living) and Journalism (but I prefer to write for self-entertainment).
And now, I'm in the teaching profession. I do not know at which point in my life I decided that teaching suits me... but it does! I enjoy imparting knowledge, I get a great sense of fulfillment when I know my students have learned and a single appreciative person out of an entire class of a hundred makes the (relatively) meagre salary acceptable. (Despite having said that, I totally wouldn't object to annual fat bonuses and handsome increments...)
I wonder how many people are indeed living the life and enjoying the career they had planned when they were younger. I am not, but I have no regrets. At times I still dream of venturing into different fields when I grow up... I mean, older. Learning can be a lifestyle, much like martial arts, or yoga, or climbing can. So, technically, the ambitions of my younger self are not total lost causes (except the Nobel prize part.... ah, the follies of my youth! *you may stop laughing now*)
What are the aspirations of your youth? =)