It is difficult to shake the feeling that the life I have is worthless if I am not a doctor. I could have been a doctor already, if I had played my cards right, starting about 10 years ago. I could be working for Doctors without Borders. I could be working where emergency medical care is needed so desperately.
I could still be a doctor, in many years. I will need money, and time. I will also need an unwavering desire and drive, something I claim to have. But do I? I was compelled to do other things all of my life.
First I was drawn to music, something I still sorely miss. I often wonder if I should stop what I am doing and start practicing again. But then I was drawn to languages in a very serious way. Like a relationship, I spent more and more time with language until I was so completely immersed that when I am without it, I feel incomplete.
I am unsure how to proceed. Where am I needed? What do I do? There are moments when I love what I do; I read and I write, I study and I discuss philosophical and literary issues with other students and professors. There are other moments, when I think of the suffering that occurs all over the world, the hunger, the disease, the malnutrition, and I wonder why I have not dedicated every single second of my existence to eradicating those problems.
Maybe there is some truth to natural talents. Maybe I would never make a good doctor or scientist. Maybe I should stay where I have made myself belong, among the intellectuals. Who is to say what I do with my life? For some reason, I am not convinced it should be up to me. I do not know if the world needs more philosophers or authors. But it certainly needs humanitarian aid. What right do I have to use my life for personal pleasure?
I have been telling others about a desire I have, which is to earn my PhD in French literature. It is a desire I have held within me for a long time. Since I was young I have wanted to earn a doctorate degree. But since I was young, I have also wanted to help people. Will my degree help people? Evidently no, but it is possible for me to use the skills I learn to help people.
I have already begun to apply psychology to literature, a subject that fascinates me. I hope to add to the discourse on trauma and literature, especially poetry. I hope I can do everything. I hope I will be able to donate lots of money to Doctors without Borders, or to fundraise, or work in their office, or become an EMT wherever I live.
I know there are ways to live that will help me feel satisfied on a personal level, and satisfied on a more global level. I hope if I continue to learn, languages, sciences, and ideas, that these goals of mine will become more clear. I am 25 now. Maybe it sounds young but I feel like time is running out.
I wrote about the cocoon of 24, the second puberty. I am hatching from that shell. It is not always easy, but I feel more confident now. I intend to take purposeful steps.