There is a quote that turns up often, about how life is what happens when you are busy making plans. Well, I do not quite believe that to be true. It’s more like life is what happens when things do not really go to plan and you need to weigh your options before figuring out the next path.

When I was trying to choose what to do with my life, I took chemistry and biology at a level with the intent and purpose of becoming a doctor. However, that required getting a B in chemistry and when I was 18 there was too much going on in my head to buckle down and get that B. My parents were very adamant that I study a profession, because they were artistic hippies in the 60s/70s and studied philosophy and struggled to find work that was not beneath them. When my parents went to Canada my mum was forced to work as a bank teller and was made to do the most ridiculous English language test in order to qualify ( one of the questions required pointing out the difference between where, we’re and were). Did I mention my mum was one of the top of her graduating class? Yeah.

So I considered becoming a chef. But that meant skipping out on a university degree and that had me weary. Not going to university was a big no-no in my house. University was something you had to do in my household. So I read a BSc in Nursing, not entirely knowing what I had signed up for. What I knew was that I wanted a job that counts and I wanted to work with people. I knew with nursing I could work anywhere in the world too with a decent pay.

That was important because at the time I was very single with little prospects (or so I thought). I had a sort of sixth form sweetheart and even though we were compatible in every possible way, it was going seriously nowhere and as intense and dramatic as 18 year old love is, it fizzled out completely the moment we both grew up a little. Therefore, I had little to tie me to Malta. In university I felt so different from the rest of my peers. Everyone took themselves so incredibly seriously and had such a sense of self importance which I found comical because while on the wards we were being made to clean shit, given the worst patients and being used as errand girls/boys. The course work was so vast and difficult and on top of that we were working 12 hour student shifts, which left little time for socialising. Also, the nursing school was attached to the hospital back then, which was far from campus so we were truly isolated. It was a lonely time.

So I hatched a plan. As soon as I graduated I would join the Medecins sans frontiers and at least be isolated with purpose. When I was 16 I spent a summer doing voluntary work with kids, it was something I understood and I was good at it. I saved money like crazy during my student years so I could come back to some security.

However, in my second year I met a man who turned out to be the love of my life and we got married shortly after I graduated, which turned around my plans completely. All of a sudden I was setting up house and planning a wedding. I read for my MA in bioethics, got a cat, got promoted to Deputy Charge Nurse. Now I’m considering doing my doctorate. I have become a stand-up comedienne and a fitness nut.

And I did not plan any of it.

But you know what?

It’s all good.

Because life is like an Italian piadina. You may think you know what it contains, but you only really know once you’ve taken a good and hearty bite.

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