What I Wanted To Be But Didn’t

As a kid, I had ambitions of becoming a priest (!), or a chef. I remember enjoying my mom’s recipe books (pronouncing “two tsp.” as “two tisps”), and even asking her to try out a recipe I haphazardly invented. Interests changed down the line, and when I reached college, I wanted to work for a large corporation.

One of the staple questions given to fresh graduates during their first job interviews involved foresight: What would you be doing five years from now? Ten years? And more often I’d answer with, “I want to start a business.”

A decade has passed with no business to boast, signifying that I’ve innocently deceived my past employers. For who could really tell what could happen over such a long duration? I graduated with a degree in Marketing Management with a GPA a few tenths short of honors, and had my sights set on pursuing a career in marketing. From the start, I didn’t want to earn from my art.

But look what happened… I became a university lecturer, a stage actor, a news and feature writer, a photographer, etc. Now I’m a graphic designer, an illustrator, and a comics creator. Even a moonlighting voice talent. Whodathunkit?

I love making comics, and I can safely say that this is my top calling. While I’ve seriously entertained the idea to teach full time at university, doing so may still be some time away. I’ve already mapped out my comics projects till 2012. By the end of that year, I should have close to, if not ten graphic novels under my cap. They include the projects that I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, plus a few new ones that have been inspired by a few more recent events.

By 2012, I’d be 41 years old. Maybe I’ll continue making comics till I’m 45, depending on the condition of my drawing hand. And hopefully I won’t completely burn myself out before then.

To think it’s taken me over a decade to discover this calling. And yet I acknowledge that my schizophrenic past had a lot to do with the present, and thus I harbor no regrets. While I couldn’t help but envy those who have stuck to a particular profession or industry since graduating college, them thus being high authorities in their chosen fields, I can say that I’ve been fortunate to have been able to dip my bony toes into a number of myriad activities. My today is borne from my yesterday.

So to those young’uns who’re angsty about their “purpose in life,” my only advice is to take advantage of that youth and do what pleases you, no matter if you find yourself hopskipping between professions and industries. (Don’t do it too much, though.) As I’ve told my former students, “What you learn now may not seem relevant to what you plan to do, but I assure you that it will be, and will most probably manifest in delightfully unexpected ways.”


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