I have not talked to a priest about this yet but I was hoping maybe y’all would be able to relate to me or not. This post will be quite long but I will do my very best to keep it as short as possible. Here I am right now typing this when I should be studying for my exams next week. Of course, I couldn’t really concentrate but you will see why.
I will be 23 years old this year and I graduated from one of the best university’s in the nation last spring. My ultimate dream is to become a dentist, own the top practice in the area, and open up the first dental clinic in my hometown so I can help those who cannot afford basic dental work. I have had this dream since I was little. Simply put, I want to see people smile despite their hardships. Unfortunately, I was rejected by every school I applied to. After speaking to dentists, admission directors, and dental students, I decided that my best course of action was to go home, enroll at the local 4 year university and do a post bac (basically, take more upper level biology classes) to improve my GPA. I knew that as a post bac student, I had to do very well in order to show the admissions committee that I am capable to handle dental school intellectually and emotionally. I entered the fall semester with a determination and an unmatched fiery passion for dentistry. After many nights of prayer, I received all A’s last semester and I hope to do well this semester.
My initial plan was to only take classes for a year and then reapply after with a stronger DAT (dental aptitude test) score as well. However, with competition for 300 or so dental spots in the state of TX, I talked to a dentist who has REALLY good ties with the dental school I hope to be accepted to. She agreed with my plan and even went on to praise to her staff that I will make a great dental student/dentist in the future. This really made me smile because I knew I was on the right track. My parents are immigrants from Vietnam and have always supported and loved me and I knew that telling them my new plans would go smoothly. Boy, I have never been more wrong in my entire life.
I told my parents the following night and they were shocked. They began questioning my plans and they doubted I was doing the right thing. This conversation turned into an argument for over 4hrs. I began to feel so frustrated and I broke down. For the first time since I was little, tears rolled down my face in front of my parents.I felt my dreams starting to crumble and doubt filled my every thought. Another argument broke out of nowhere and they basically confirmed that they didn’t think I could get into dental school. My parents whom I have loved and always thought they were my rock did not think I could do it.
The intense and burning drive I had to succeed was wiped out and my performance on the round of tests was poor. Didn’t fail anything but my performance was inexcusable.
Please let me backtrack a little bit to my childhood. Ever since I was little, everyone I knew thought that I would make a great priest. My Sunday school teachers would praise my knowledge of the Faith and have encouraged me to the priesthood. There was this one memorable moment I had when I received First Communion. I was 8 at the time. I remember waiting my turn in line to receive Christ. My fellow friends were receiving Communion one after another. When it was finally my turn, the priest raised the Eucharist to me, he didn’t say “The Body of Christ.” Instead, he was saying something silently. His lips were moving and looking back, I strongly believe he was saying some prayer. I stood there for at least 30 seconds and he finally said “The Body of Christ.” to which I happily said, “Amen.” I knew I was standing there for awhile and my parents even said, “What did the priest say to you up there?” My response was “I don’t know. I did everything right and I was he was mumbling what looked like a prayer.”
When I was 14, I received the sacrament of Confirmation and I have never been more proud. I gained a greater appreciation of the Faith and adored all Catholic related items (Crucifixes, Rosaries, Statues, even Holy Water was awesome to me). The idea of being a priest crossed my mind a few times but I just kept pushing it back thinking it was nothing. Was I selfish to not think it was Christ trying to tell me something? I truly don’t know.