Science. Arts. Books. Writing.
“What do you really want to be?”
“You have a lot on your plate. Don’t you get tired?”
“Just choose one thing, and be great at it.”
“You can’t be an expert in anything if you divide your time into too many ventures.”
“Maybe you’re just confused and lost.”
I’ve heard these judgments and questions a million times by now. I even posted a rebuttal on these on Thought Catalog on my birthday, exactly 4 years ago, “Don’t Let Society Steal Your Passion.”
I don’t want to defend myself anymore. This isn’t an explanation of some sort. I’m writing this for people who like me, have many passions (or so it seems). This is also for the people who make hasty judgments about people like us. Please. For the love of God. Stop.
“Not all who wander are lost,” says JRR Tolkien. I wander, yes, but I’m not lost. I explore whatever it is about which I’m curious. I’m drunk with life and learning. I’m excited about learning — anything. But especially the Arts and Sciences.
I will never understand why people see the Arts and Sciences or the other fields as different things. I will never understand how you can separate the fields from each other, because one way or another, all the fields overlap, and don’t you think it’s more fun that way? Learning is learning. Why be choosy about it?
I have an unlimited number of colleagues and mentors because of it, and I try to absorb and hopefully catch every trickle of knowledge from all these wonderful, brilliant people. I consider myself truly blessed to have all these passionate people in my life.
Do I worry that I’ll never be good enough in any of these fields because I divide my time? ALWAYS. No matter how high people’s expectations are of me, believe me, my expectations of myself surpass that a thousand times. That’s just who I am.
But on the other hand, who gets to be a true EXPERT on these things anyway? There will always be new things to learn, new things to appreciate, and a lifetime to work on that. Even if I work until I’m on my deathbed, it will never be enough for me to understand and appreciate ALL the mysteries of the world.
I am one tiny insignificant person in this vast universe. Whatever I learn and figure out in the short second I was here is more than enough for me. Yes, I’m striving and working hard every day to improve, to be better, but I’m also content and happy with where I am. I may not be as brilliant, as stellar as the people around me, but I’m glad they welcome me into their circle. I’m happy just hanging out with them and talking about the things we care about.
To my Arts and Science colleagues and mentors, I can’t tell you how grateful I am that we crossed paths. I hope to keep you for life. You keep me grounded and inspired.
So what do I really want in life? I want to learn. I want to create. I want to appreciate life, at least some forms of life, on a deeper level. My writings, my artworks, my readings — if you look closely on them, are all in service of the Arts and Sciences.
I will never understand how people see the things I do as different things. For me, it’s only one beautiful THING learned by me in a million forms. Like a book that’s published on a physical copy, an e-book, an audiobook, or a summarized internet article.
I love Arts and Sciences. I read about them, paint about them, write about them. I’m taking my graduate studies because I want to learn about Biology on a deeper level. Sure, I don’t see myself working in a laboratory, but that doesn’t mean I can’t serve Science in my own little way, right? I’ll forever be grateful to Ma’am Jac Simbahan when she said I can be a Science Communicator during our first meeting when I applied for my Master’s degree.
Since then, I tried to learn everything I can from writing to digital marketing to data visualization to be a great Science Communicator someday. Through that, I also realized why plants and animals are my favorite art subjects. It’s another way for me to “communicate” Science and to make this confusing field more accessible to the public.
I’m far from that goal, I know. And I’m actively looking for a mentor in #ScienceCommunication because, to be honest, I’m just winging all these as I go. I wish I have somebody to guide me through this. I was fortunate to be chosen as Editor-in-Chief for the current issue of RXpedition, the official newsletter of Reed Elsevier Philippines. To my doubters, here’s a testament that it’s not impossible to combine my “passions” and create something beautiful out of them. I’m still figuring out how to get to my destination, but by the grace of God, I think I’m on the right path to get there (hopefully).
Let’s be more supportive and proud of one another. We’re all trying our best. It won’t hurt to be a little kinder.