I wanted to be a geologist

When James and I visited Canberra a couple of weeks ago, seeing the periodic table cabinet in Questacon made me want to own something like that in my own room. I would surely stare at it every day in awe and just drown in my love for science.

I dare say my love for science is a muted, bemused sort of love. I have always loved the periodic table since my parents sent me to a chemistry course when I was eleven, and just knew I wanted to be a geologist when I was seven (to this day I still love rocks). But as soon as high school passed and I drained myself learning every type of science I was able to learn, I looked at my options for a career, but more of what I really wanted to do at that moment, mulling over what had stayed with me since I was younger.

I wanted to know the scientific names of all the dinosaurs. I wanted to know what other gases, solids and liquids existed. I wanted to know how refrigerators worked and I wanted to know what else they didn’t know about the solar system. I wished there were planets beyond Pluto before I knew the Milky Way was the only galaxy. I wanted to know the composition of the asteroids near Jupiter, and I wondered, how did they get there? I loved everything about space and sky and how the earth was the way it was. I was incredibly fascinated by the way species were categorised into kingdom, phylum, class, order and family. I just wanted to know how plants grew, not spend hours watching the tiny little sunflower seeds sprout in my paper cups of soil and water. I wanted to know what the scattering of light was that made the sky so beautiful at dusk.

However, years of visiting the Australian Museum with a purse full of gemstones, collecting sedimentary rocks and creating my own fossils, growing my own crystals and trying not to leave bits of them around the house, feigning a disinterest in plants just because I didn’t particularly want to help my parents with the gardening… all these signs were just the beginning of my quiet adoration for geological science.

It was towards the end of my high school years – studying every science-related subject I was allowed to – that I crawled, hesitatingly, out of the deep end, and walked alongside the lake of knowledge as I pursued something else rather familiar and loveable – web development; programming; information architecture; design. It was at this point in time that I chose to keep walking alongside the water, between two worlds I have known and loved for most of my life.

I decided that geology was one of those secret loves I would later tell people about, with just the slightest hint of a nostalgic tear in my eye.