Sunday, 21 September 2008

This is... what I want to be when I grow up

One of my pet rats has recently developed a chewing habit and I've now lost not one, but two mouse cables in two days. So I'm typing this using my keyboard only. I think I'll leave adding pics until tomorrow.

Ever since I was a little kid I have always been fascinated by biology. I mentioned in a previous This is post that my favourite book as a kid was "The Body and how it works", and things haven't changed much since then. My dad is an incredibly functional person, an inventor in his spare time, always questioning how things work and how they could be better, and my mum is nurse, so it's really not surprising that I wound up in the field I'm in. I've always been fortunate enough to know what I've wanted to do. By midway through high school, when people asked me what I wanted to be, I'd say that I wanted to research things, like the brain and behaviour (not as a psychologist though). I never realised that what I wanted to be was a "scientist": I thought scientists were people who spent all day in lab coats in white, strerile laboratories doing chemistry-like experinments. I didn't realise "scientists" could be from the natural sciences too. I also didn't know until the end of my first year of uni that the name of the field I was interested in was "physiology". After a few years of working in the physiology field I've tried out quite a few things and I discovered that research is a really exciting thing to be a part of. I can't discuss too much of my research here, not because it's super top secret or anything, but because it'd compromise my semi-anonimity. However I will say that it seems almost criminal that I get paid to be fulfilling my childhood dream of studying the nervous system. I know, I know... I'm young and in a few years I'll be bitter and jaded from the lack of funding and the grant chasing etc etc, and I'll read back on this and laugh, but for now I think it's awesome.

I also want to be a mum... but not quite yet (I'm not grown up yet!). There were so many wonderful things I got to do while I was growing up, and there were some pretty awful things too, but I wouldn't be without those experiences either. I'd love to be able to guide my own children through those experiences too. I don't know what to do with babies, they're a complete mystery to me, but toddlers and children - at least other people's - I enjoy. Children provide such a fresh outlook on everything.

When I grow up I want to be still challenging, understanding, questioning, keeping that fresh outlook. Gib's grandma is like that. At age 89 and going to her grandson's rock concerts, going out walking every day, always learning new things and always positive. That's how I want to be.

Thanks to Cindy at bugandpop for this week's wonderful theme and Three Buttons for hosting This is...!


Hoppo Bumpo said...

I hope those grants keeping rolling in and you continue to fulfill your dream. Do what you like and like what you do!

PS. After having two babies, they're still a mystery to me.

Jenaveve said...

Nice post Beth. Very insightful and yes it is criminal that you are getting paid to fulfill a childhood dream!!

No, no. I think it's ideal. I'm with you on keeping that fresh outlook. Don't you love hip grannies?! They rock.

Jenaveve said...

Forgot to add - you've earned yourself a little award. Pop over to August Street for collection...