I don't think there's a person out there who hasn't been asked this question during childhood. I felt like the answer to that decision was going to dictate the journey of my life. I'm pretty sure the first time I was asked, I replied with 'Cardiologist'? Did I even know what a cardiologist was? Yes, I believe someone in our family friend circle was a "cardiologist" and everyone seemed to think he was super intelligent. I must have also gotten a sense that he was highly respected, and I wanted that. So, as a first grader, I remember going to the library and picking up books that had to do with heart anatomy, physiology, and anything else related to this science of medicine. Did I understand any of what I was reading? Absolutely not. But I sure did feel like I had purpose and was determined in my brain to be a "cardiologist". Which then led to my future studies.
Here I am...Grade 3 - working on a science experiment. (I think I was trying to find out which lotion/cream was the most hydrating - and my experimental thought was the lotion that could stay in tact the longest in water, was the one that would keep me the most hydrated...clearly not right, but hey! I was only 8)
Education was incredibly important to my parents because it was mainly available to the elite. I remember them saying, "You're stupid if you don't get an education in this country". It was the usual line when I didn't get 100% on my exams or assignments (I'm not even kidding!). As I reflect on their statement, I understand how they did not want us to take our ability to receive a high level of education for granted. To be honest, it really isn't something that most of us think about. We think of school as a normal passage to adulthood. But that truly isn't the case in a lot of third world countries, and what these kids wouldn't do to spend time in our schools, with our resources.
Well, I continued in my stream of science Education, and I did graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacology. (Yup, there's my graduation picture to prove it). During this time, I realized, I did not want to spend another 8 years in school and decided I'd prefer working in the health sector, but in management. I applied to an MBA style graduate program in Vancouver, British Columbia for Health Administration. I was positive I was going to get in (I mean, I was the most studious person I knew) and yet, I was rejected. I was told I didn't have enough real life experience and should reapply in a few years, despite my grades, impressive resume, and ambition.
I still wasn't convinced that this is what I wanted to do. So I went ahead and applied to a post graduate program in Education and graduated with another degree in Secondary Education. (No proof picture necessary, lol). From there, I went on to teach High School Biology, Chemistry, and Physics for a year. This was one of the most fun years of my life. I LOVED my students. I LOVED teaching. But I knew that it was not going to be long term. My students loved my classes because they could relate to me. I was the "cool young teacher". At that time, I was also exposed to some young adults with speech impediments and was very much interested in therapy methods. Having a father that worked for the Rehabilitation Hospital, I was able to connect with a few Occupational and Speech Language Therapists. After spending some time with them, I decided to pursue my graduate education in Rehabilitation Medicine, specifically Speech Pathology. After applying to the few schools in Canada, and receiving news of being admitted this time, I was over the moon.
However, life had another curveball to throw at me. For those of you who don't know, I moved to Houston for a relationship...long story there...won't go into the details. But the short of it is, that I left Grad School to move here for a relationship that wasn't the right one for me in the end. But here I was in Houston. And while trying to build my life here, I was exposed to the some holistic wellness practices that resulted in me opening my own clinic called 'The Balance Clinic'. Here I worked predominantly with children diagnosed with Autism, ADD/ADHD, and individuals with IBD (Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, IBS, etc). I worked on food sensitivity testing and nutrition counseling with them. And in the midst of ALL OF THAT, I started baking macarons! Not for business reasons. Not because I ever wanted to own a bakery. But for two reasons: One, baking was very therapeutic for me as I was going through a break up. But second, most of the children that came to see me were sensitive to Gluten. And what better treat, than a macaron that is gluten-free. Well, you've seen pics of my first few macarons...but with the science background, I quickly drafted up a chart with manipulated and responding variables and figured out a recipe that worked for me! Then my brother came into the picture and we both created what you all know as 'MACARON by Patisse'.
So, through that entire journey, not once, did I think, I want to be a baker, or a pastry chef, or a business owner...and yet here I am today. And who knows if this is where I'll be in the future...
Now it's your turn. What did you want to be when you 'grew up'? And are you doing what you always thought you would? I would love to hear about your journey.