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Madonna, the Globetrotting MD: When I Grow Up

Every day, children all over the world are asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Most tots respond with lofty dreams of becoming pirates, ice-cream tasters, ninjas, warrior princesses—or the first Indian American woman president, as I once said. 

When I was in elementary school, I always thought I would be a pediatrician. I genuinely believed that since I was born at Stanford Hospital, I would go to Stanford University, become a doctor, and practice at Stanford. As soon as I realized that blood and guts made me queasy, that dream quickly turned into a nightmare. 

By the time middle school rolled around, I was too preoccupied with Boyz II Men, egg babies, and mini-backpacks to think about my career. If anyone had asked me during that time what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said, “I’m going to be a rock star or a backup dancer for Madonna.” Fortunately for the eyes and ears of the general population, that dream didn’t pan out either. 

During high school, I realized how much I adored traveling and experiencing other cultures. I decided to major in international studies and become an ambassador. I had visions of learning ten languages and living in dozens of countries, all while dressed in a smartly cut suit. After college, I even moved to Washington, DC, for a stint to try my luck at achieving my dream. I promptly learned that our nation’s capital and politics were not where I belonged. 

Today, at the age of twenty-six, I still have no clue what I want to be when I grow up. Fortunately, I have a greater awareness of what I’m good at and what I suck at. My philosophy is to take each day to learn a bit more about myself and my strengths in the hope that one day everything will just fall into place. I mean, it has to eventually, right? 

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