Career- 1st draft



DATE : 13th April, 2006


About 913 words. (I know…got carried away)*OY has shortened the draft to 600 words but posting my version of it here!

Dr Daphne.M.Iking. Nice ring to it huh?

Well, ever since I could remember, I had always wanted to become a certified Medical Doctor. A pediatrician to be more exact.

You remember those tiny boxes you had to fill in back in school? Cita-cita anda? Every year, I would fill these blanks with

1. Doctor

2. Doctor

3. Doctor.

Yes, I was THAT adamant and anal on being one! Or so I thought.

My classmates would normally change their ‘ambitions’ annually. Or just change the ranking of their vocations according to the ‘flavor of the year’. I still remember Su Ann’s choices:

1. Lawyer

2. Flight attendant

3. Mathematician

Then the following year it would be:

1. Flight attendant

2. Mathematician

3. Lawyer

Hmm.. a strange combo I must admit, but I hear she works as a cabin crew for Chartered flights, plus she’s an accountant for a Law firm. Not bad… So kudos to her for ‘achieving’ all three.

Well, back to my story, the only sick patient I tend to is Brazil, my 3-month old Maltese pup, which I have found out by disgrace, has been having stomach problems due to gnawing the sole of my favourite Nine West Wedges!

So did I achieve my childhood dreams? No.

I am currently working as a broadcast journalist in the News & Current Affairs Department of a local television station. I host, emcee, dance and have even tried acting. Am I happy? Well, let’s put it this way. Despite the office drama, stress before going on live, long working hours, wearing way too much makeup - with full conviction, I can say, that waking up at 4am in the morning and coming home almost midnight still leaves me with a contented smile. It’s true.

But it was not all smiley getting here.

I knew deep inside that Medicine was not for me long before I had THE TALK with daddy. After getting automatic entry to the Science stream in Form 4, I knew it was more for daddy than for myself, that I whizzed through highschool. In university, my parents flew from Sabah just to see me and when we were going through the options of Medic schools to choose from, I knew not only was I lying to mum and dad, but most horribly, to myself too.

My father, an ex-cop who studied law but ended up as a banker, is a strict, Catholic man. His no nonsense attitude scared the living daylights of my siblings and I, and his compliments come as rare as a blue goose on Tuesdays! Now that I am much older and earning my keep, I dare say that I continued this vocation fa├žade because of my fear of disappointing him—perhaps it was the middle child syndrome vying for his love and attention? I don’t know.

But I knew by pursuing ‘my dream’ of being a doctor, this would please him. It didn’t help the fact that my older sister, Michelle, took Electrical Engineering so the pressure was there to excel.

Take it from me; it really IS true when they say, “mother knows best”. My mother ‘saved my career’ (as well as many lives, to put it bluntly) because as a nurse tutor, she advised me to go with her to the hospital for 2 weeks during my school break, to understand the job descriptions of being a doctor. I survived barely an hour.

I eventually confided in her and told her I was keen on taking Mass Communications. Her advice? Tell papa. Easier said than done mum- you’re married to him! But yes, after practicing my lines in front of my vanity mirror, I told my father the truth. His retort? “you think you’re Yasmin Yusoff ah?”. Mass communications was relatively a new course – hardly recognized back then. His admiration for famous Radio 4 DJs, Yasmin Yusoff and Patrick Teoh was quite obvious, and I guess, he could just not picture his daughter being media savvy.

Well, I went ahead with my true dreams. Being overseas helped because I didn’t have to feel my father’s wrath...ok..ok…it was only across the South China Seas - I graduated with a Degree and Masters both at USM, Penang.

It took awhile for him to warm up to the idea of me being in the media line—but eventually, he became my number one fan and critic. Has he toned down? No. He is still a difficult man to please, but the fear has gone away. No longer do I do things to please him solely. And now, I FINALLY understand after all these years, the value he instilled in us, was to be disciplined enough to follow through our plans. And since I was adamant on being a Doctor, he was only pushing me to achieve those dreams which I had THOUGHT, would be the key to win his heart! Silly me!

Strangely though, I still dream of seeing my name in print with the initial Dr in front of it. So yes, plans to pursue my PhD in Communications is in the pipeline. And my love for children? Well, how about Daphne’s Daycare for you?

In a nutshell, follow your heart. Trust your gut instincts and do what you think is best for you. So there you go. Su Ann, if you’re reading this – I’m going to achieve ‘all 3’ of my choices – just like you had successfully done! Let’s just wait and see!