Que sera sera
Standard 1 until 6. Every year, we were asked, what we want to be when we grow up. The most popular ambitions were doctor, engineer, teacher. I remembered, my top 3 were doctor, teacher and some times police and at other times lecturer. But the occupation which appeared the most in my personal file was to become a doctor. Things look good when I managed to score 5As in Peperiksaan Penilaian Darjah 5.

I was lucky to enrolled in one of the best boarding schools in Malaysia. I still dreamed of becoming a doctor. I sat for my SRP then and scored okay la... Not that excellent though. Not straight As.

Based on the SRP's results, I continued to chase my dream and was put in one of the Science stream classes. I worked hard for the SPM, well, at least I think I did. Results: ok la, not bad, not excellent either.

The dream of becoming a doctor began to realize when I was accepted to join the UKM's matriculation programme. Gedebak gedebuk, after 2 years and after the final exam, it turned out that my results were not good enough to enter the medical programme. Was I frustrated? Was I disappointed? Was I down? Of course. Especially when most of my best friends from the matriculation sailed through and get a place in the medical faculty.

Life goes on. I was placed in Life Sciences Faculty (Fakulti Sains Hayat) in Bangi. The disappointment and the feeling that I was a failure haunted me. It did affect my studies then. I lost interest in most of the courses taught. Just imagine having to learn about botany, zoology, organic chemistry etc etc etc. I am not looking down on those topics, it just that I had no passion for those topics. But Allah Maha Adil dan Maha Bijaksana. When He closes one door, He actually opens another. A group of lecturers were setting up a new faculty with new programmes such as Biomedical Sciences and Optometry. They were enrolling new students and invited applications from interested and eligible students of Life Sciences. Well, cutting the long story short, I applied. And I got a place. Tak dapat medic, dapat biomedic pun was good enough at that time. At least, some of the frustrations were washed away.

Being the first batch of students in the new programme, we enjoyed it very much. There were very few of us. We were very close, like brothers and sisters. We know our lecturers quite well. And we had quality teaching-learning session. However, as I approached the final year (Year 4), the worry about the future began to fill up the mind. Nak kerja apa nanti? To become scientist? To become science officer? Or to become sales executive of laboratory supplies company? Those were amongst the prospect then. I remembered on my graduation day, the person who presented me the scroll, asked me nanti nak jadi apa. My impromptu answer was, nak jadi saintis. Ha ha... No more to become a doctor. That dream shattered in 1992.:)

I tried to look for a job. Every day, tengok iklan dalam surat khabar. Once, I even went to the extent of trying to attend a walk-in interview kat kilang apa ntah and kat mana ntah. Only to find out, there was no walk-in interview on that day. Maybe they have filled up the post or whatever. Penat je pergi. I even applied to become a temporary teacher. Because I have seen my older sister became one when she finished her studies. And nampak mcm best je, tanda2 buku kerja and kertas exam anak2 murid. Well, I was then offered the job but I did not report for duty. Because at that time, I heard from a friend of mine that there's a lecturer who required a research assistant and I thought that will be a better option. So I became a research assistant to Prof Ima, in the Dept of Pharmacology, Medical Faculty, UKM.

Alang-alang dah jadi research assistant and buat research, Prof Ima offered me doing Masters under her supervision. Well, since I have nothing else to do, why not. So I became a student again. And lucky for me, after 1 year plus of doing Masters,  Prof Ima recommended me to upgrade to PhD. So, I converted from a masters candidate to PhD candidate. I got married during this period. I got pregnant with my first child while I was doing my final laboratory analysis. In fact, I was pregnant with my second child when I received the PhD scroll in 2001.  Alhamdulillah, rezeki Allah beri. Looks like I had a smooth ride eh? Not really. I had my ups and downs during these years. Frustrations with the PhD work, financial problem and the stress of being a mother. But those hardships made me stronger. Alhamdulillah.

While I was doing my PhD, the department had a vacancy and I applied for the tutor job. It was a golden opportunity and I would be crazy to let it go. Thus, began my career at the Department of Pharmacology.

After I have graduated for my PhD, I became a lecturer and slowly trudging along my career pathway. I have finally fulfill my dream of becoming a doctor, but a different kind of doctor. I am also a scientist and involved in numerous research work. I love my job and I think the failure to get into the medical school was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.

I was reminded of this song when I wrote this entry:
'Que sera sera,
Whatever will be, will be,
The future's not ours to see,
Que sera sera'

Yes, whatever will be, will be. Kun faya kun... Allah is indeed Maha Bijaksana. He knows best.
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