My childhood experience was much like gettingafirmhold’s, I too was a born in and was taught to be entirely selfless, to cultivate a mind that would quickly and effectively snuff out each and every notion of ‘self’. That is to say that who I really was as an individual entity was summarily lost to the collective needs of the whole, the Borg. I do remember, quite distinctly, always being curious about the world in general, how it works and how we, as a species relate to it; of course, I was never allowed to follow any of these notions through to developing some sort of personal goals or ambitions from them but, the seeds of ….something were there, deep within me.
I left at the age of 27 and almost immediately turned my attention to getting an education, my lack of a having a well rounded one always troubled me. In the beginning, I began by taking night courses (I was employed full-time) at our state school supplemented by various courses at the community college, all general education subjects, all in preparation for some form of serious academic study. It was during this time period that I solidified my curiosities about our human, physical interaction with our surrounding, built environment—coupled with an almost overwhelming desire to actually make a tangible contribution to society (as opposed to my previous supposed vocation of ‘making converts’ to the Borg)—into a career path, I wanted to become an architect.
It was a long, long arduous road. As I mentioned, I left in ’97 and have been working either directly on my degrees or in some form, in preparation (intellectually/financially) of them and just this past December (2010) I got my Masters.
What helped me realize this goal was actually taking the time (it felt so selfish, at first) to assess who I was as an individual, separate and apart from the Borg. As I discovered myself, I discovered my desires; the ambition and drive to pursue my dreams naturally followed.