“A detective so that I can solve crimes and catch the bad guys.”
This was my first childhood ambition.
I was probably influenced by the television shows that I watched, such as Pink Panther, Matlock and countless Hong Kong detective dramas which often involved plenty of chasing and fighting.
I imagined ambushing the criminals from behind a corner with a revolver and dealing them with a karate chop or two. Some of you might recognise this picture from a recent “Going Places” post 😉
What about you? What did you want to be when you were young?
Have you seen this brilliant advertisement by Monster.com that was first screened in 1999?
In here, young children declare their ambition to “be a yes man/woman”, “have a brown nose” and “to file all day” – a refreshing reminder for everyone who is stuck in a job that they do not like!
When I was around 11, I thought I would be a politician or lawyer.
The 1991 Singapore General Election was the first one held after Lee Kwan Yew stepped down as Prime Minister of Singapore and the unprecedented losses by the ruling PAP party were all over the news. I was fascinated with the statistics and presented them in front of my class during a practice for our English oral examination.
I soon realised that I wasn’t actually interested in politics, policy/law-making or defending people in the courts of the law. I simply liked talking in front of an audience.
During my teenage years, I was in the “Science stream”, as categorised by the Singapore education system which I felt was too rigid and keen to put young, formative minds into pigeon-holes.
My dream job fluctuated between being an audio engineer (for the superficial reason that it sounded more unusual than a civil/mechanical/electrical engineer) and a photojournalist (so that I could travel and meet people).
Growing up in Singapore in the 1980-90s, I was often told that it would be good to be an engineer as you would definitely have a professional, well-paying job after graduation. While majority of my peers from the “Science stream” ended up studying engineering in university, I decided that it would be more fun to study Psychology. So I did.
Topics relating to gender, abnormal and deviant psychology interested me tremendously. I considered becoming a criminal psychologist but shelved the idea as it didn’t seem like Singapore would offer many challenges for someone in this profession.
When I turned one, my relatives brought food and presents for my birthday celebration.
As part of a local ‘tradition’ amongst the Chinese in Singapore, I was set in front of various items including a ruler, a plate of food, a book, a box of crayons and a bell. The first item that I was to pick would (supposedly) determine my future career path when I grow up.
I have no idea where this ‘tradition’ came from but I think most people continue to do it for fun.
What did I choose?
Apparently, those one-year-old toddlers who pick a book over the other items are destined to be intelligent and become scholars when they grow up. Sounds good to me!