It has not always been that I have dedicated my life to saving lives. On the contrary, I led a very different life before I decided that I wanted to be a doctor. I can honestly say that in a single lifetime, an individual meet Death more than once, and not always to take our last breath, but for us to experience some kind of dying – an occasion to end the old life that we have been living to start a new one. I think that my story, my ending, is like others in this sense – all endings are not absolute, they are merely one side of a coin, the other side being always a new beginning. For every ending there is a beginning, for every death, a rebirth.
I used to work for a branch of private company that deals with sales and marketing. As a young adult, I felt satisfied with what I was doing – I was in the corporate world and I was learning a lot of new things, meeting a host of new people, facing the challenge of “making” it in my field. I was absorbed with my work which revolved around meeting clients and transacting business, sealing deals. I thought I was happy. Until I witnessed a major accident at Highway 395 – a girl was seriously injured and I helped stopped her bleeding. In the end, the ambulance came and she was safe, and then the questions came to me. I have felt that kind of elation before. Not with witnessing an accident first-hand, but with being able to help somebody, about saving a life. I remembered that feeling from a time when I saved my younger brother from drowning out in the sea as well. That good, warm feeling that welled up inside me – that is the best kind of feeling that I have ever had, and it came from the knowledge that I have somehow helped save somebody’s life. It was the kind of feeling that I wanted to treasure and experience my whole life.
Needless to say, it opened a sort of Pandora’s box within me – a stream of questions came pouring. What was I doing? I was a sales-marketing agent, I talk and deal with people and make money for the company, but I do not get any deep satisfaction from it. I was not touching people’s lives, not being able to help others. In the harsh, competitive corporate world, profit is number one, not humanity. I tried to envision myself. How do I see myself in my thirties? Do I want to dedicate my life in sales and marketing, knowing that I only have one life to live? I had to admit to myself that my work was not rewarding, and it was not something that I would like to do for the rest of my life, not even for ten years down the road.
It was at that moment that I decided to leave the corporate world and pursue my dreams and become a doctor. I took up Biology as pre-med course, and I always keep in mind the reason why I am here is because I want to help people. It is not for the money, and it is not entirely for altruistic reasons either. Although I want to help people and make them better and help them live longer, it is also because of the good feeling that comes from having done something for others that motivates me to continue this path. Leaving the corporate world and vowing never to come back was a big decision for to make because it was for the longest time, the life that I knew. It was a kind of death for me, an ending of a chapter in my life that I had to experience. I learned a lot during my work as a sales-marketing agent, but more importantly I recognize that it was a necessary part of my life. It enabled me to see the kind of life that I do not want, and cleared my mind to divine the life that I desired. By ending that part in my life, I am now free to start a new chapter. Having turned my back on that old life, I have no regrets and now I feel free and alive – I am, after all, living the life that I want.