First written on 11 August, 2016, on Facebook.
Monk. Astronomer. Artist. Architect. Priest. Psychologist. Lawyer. Monk. Historian. Writer. Physicist. Painter. Actor. Activist. Academic. These, at different times in my life, are the things I have wanted to be, or have been pushed to be, or now am, or know that I would one day be, or one day want to be, or will never be.
In the beginning, it was Astronomer, because child years of Discovery Channel made Mars so cool, until I learned I needed to know Mathematics for that and so I let it go. Through childhood, it was also Artist, because I could draw, still can draw: a solid dream. Then it became Monk, because I’d stumbled upon St Gregory the Great’s biography of St Benedict, a life-changing booklet called Life of Saint Benedict, Benedict who remains my favourite saint. Then, without leaving Artist and Monk, I moved on to Architect, because an aunt studied it and I heard architects made cool money.
All through this time, people were pushing hard: you go to church everyday, Block Rosary every night, you’re so quiet, you need to be a Priest. But Psychologist walked in instead, because another aunt had studied it and moved to London and I felt I just had to go to London to know what London People were thinking, because that was what psychology was in my world: a people-reading manual. Then teachers and classmates put Lawyer in my head because students who are good in arts subjects have to study Law. Then Monk returned: but one evening in 2012, after a conversation with my mother, it fled forever. And Historian took over fully: “Professor of International Relations” would look cool on my resume.
Then in June of 2012, while reading Half of a Yellow Sun, Writer, an inchoate want that had always been there since childhood, became serious. Still is serious. But Physicist remains a dream I will never fulfill, never helped by that film The Theory of Everything. And Painter is a world I would be fully alive in. And Actor, because Cate Blanchett and Daniel Day-Lewis blow my small mind. And Activist, because this world sucks so fucking bad. Months after I first wrote all of the above on Facebook, Academic strolled by and, boy, I grabbed it.
Months on, nearly two years on, I still want.