At the heart of it all, I am a learner, an academic in a sense, but I feel I am too blasé to the parts of academia that drive most people to do things like write papers.
As a child I was passionate about learning. I wanted to read, to write, to expand my horizons. Over the years as I was going through the processes of learning and trying to better myself I think I crossed a threshold wherein I became disillusioned with the scholarly learning that we are taught and cultivated into in school. Hence, I became blasé about it; there was too much of it. However, during this grind, this tiring monotony, I came upon dreams: I wanted to play games for my own enjoyment, I wanted to make games, I wanted to make content on my own, etc.
That is where our current story begins. When I was younger, still wide eyed and eager to gain knowledge for the sake of knowledge, I saw my dreams and decided they were not worth pursuing. I talked myself out of what I wanted. Told myself I was not good enough, and so I stayed the course and rode my ship onward into education. But as the years have passed I have realized something. Despite having numbers of degrees and specializations in Geology, Archaeology, Chemistry, etc. they were not making me happy in a sense of longevity. The appeal has worn off, and I am left here reaping the consequences of my actions. And no, I do not regret it in the sense that I am sitting here at the end thinking it was wasted time. I am grateful for the experiences I have gained, but it is time for me to pursue my dreams again.
Mahatma Gandhi is cited for a quote I find relevant. "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
This is an incredibly important piece of advise if ever I saw one because it tells us two things. First, we need to live for ourselves. Do what you need to in order to live a full life, so if you died tomorrow it would not be a life in regret. Second, learning is a life long process. To learn as if we had eternal life is to realize you must learn all the time. It is vital to keep learning.
So where does that leave me? I still like learning, albeit not in an academic setting. So I have decided to follow Gandhi's advise and do both. By living for myself it is time I embrace the dreams I gave up on, but to use those dreams to learn. This is why I am going to make content and learn programming. It is why I am applying for jobs in fields I once told myself were out of my reach. I will use the stability of my academics to teach myself something new, to live a full life. And I am fortunate that what I want to do is something where we truly never stop learning. I look forward to this path. Even if I fail, I would rather stand up and try and risk being pushed down, than to simple give up without a fight.
"I'd rather die on my feet, than live on my knees."- Emiliano Zapata
My sister is a doctor, as in an actual hospital doctor of medicine. During medical school she had to be with multiple patients at the end of their lives and what she told was that, invariably, their deepest regrets were that they did not follow a dream or do something the wanted/loved. I hope I can live a full enough life to not have that regret.
So to answer the question: who am I?
I am a learner, I am a dreamer, but most importantly, I am the one who controls my own destiny.