Ma Pa, I want to be a pilot (Making a Career Choice)

(This is a rather emotional post.If you don’t like to read emotional posts, the ‘X’ button is at the top right hand corner of your screen.)

“Once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards for there you have been and there you will long to return” – Leonardo Da Vinci –

I’ve always thought that I knew what I was going to do with my life (career-wise I mean). Back when I was 15, I was pretty sure that I was going to be a doctor. Well, that lasted for a couple of months. Plus, during the final two years of high school, my performance in those critical science subjects were not so good, so, I thought, doctor? Hell no.. Not to mention the fact that I didn’t really like the lifestyle of a med student and also the lifestyle of a doctor itself. No offense to doctors out there! It’s just not my thing.

Since I was small, there’s only one career pathway that I have ever considered to be on. I wanted to be in uniforms and I wanted to be in the skies. That’s what I wanted to do.

Two choices. Either I work on being a Commercial Pilot by going to a flying school or join the Royal Malaysian Air Force. I was set on doing that. I wanted to be a pilot. It may sound a bit corny but I’ve always wanted to become a fighter pilot. If I couldn’t do that, then flying Boeings or Airbuses was fine as well. As long as I could fly. Being in the skies for even couple of hours a day beats being stuck in a cubicle 8 hours a day. Being able to say “Cabin crews, please arm and crosscheck” and “Cabin crews, please be seated for takeoff” beats doing auditing for some companies. I don’t want to talk to Air Traffic Controllers in my bathroom anymore. I want to do it in real life.

I get goosebumps when I hear the roar of an aircraft’s engine. I look with envy at Air Force pilots as well as commercial pilots. I worship the earth they walk on. Believe it or not, I can’t count how many times I’ve cried looking at aircrafts and documentaries/movies related to aircrafts.

I have loved uniforms and flying for as long as I can remember. I want to go to work wearing uniforms, and not just some random items of clothing that do not have any identity at all. I love the challenge and the adventure that entails with that line of work. I figured, if I was supposed to have a career out of myself and was forced to work until I retire, I might as well do something that I love, right?

The original plan after Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) was, become a pilot, get a job and pursue a degree through distance education or maybe on a part-time basis.

Unfortunately, I received hindrance from all corners of my life. Some say, “Don’t do that, it’s not safe! What if your plane crashes?”. Some say, “Why would you want to join the Air Force? There’s no money there!”. Some say, “Become an accountant lah! A lot of money there.” The irony is, these people who talk about money and salary are the same persons who say “Money is not everything mate. Money does not buy happiness.”

Regarding getting a degree only after I’ve started working, I was served with this statement, “Nooo! You’ll never get around getting a degree after you work. You’re going to be too lazy to go back to university.”

Now, I’m stuck with doing something that I hate. I’m spending precious times doing something to satisfy others. I should have been more persistent back then. This is something that I regret and will not ever forgive myself ever. In fact, how will I ever forgive those who clouded my judgment and destroyed hope for me as well?I should have listened to myself rather than listen to others. At the end of the day, I know myself much better than anyone else will ever do. Plus, I’ll be the one living with the consequences, true? Now, I’m not too sure how to propel myself to pursuing my passion anymore. Fighter pilot? Too old to become one. Flying school? How am I going to come up with the money?

Whatever it is, I am still persistent in trying to work my way to getting into a flying school. It’ll be hard and it will be painful, but when that moment of being able to wear my wings arrives, it will all be worth it.

This reminds me of a poem that we used to cover in high school.

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


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