Are you who you thought you’d be when you grew up. I was never one of those little girls who dreamt about her wedding day and how many kids she wanted to raise in her little yellow house on the corner with the white picket fence. I never wanted to be a teacher or a nurse or a mom like the rest of my 1970’s girlfriends.
In actuality, I wanted to be a TV repairman, live in NYC and never have kids. My life did not turn out how my 8-year-old version of me thought it would. Forty years later, while I love TV, I barely know how to record a show. New York City is the last place on Earth I would want to live, and I actually hyperventilate a bit at the thought of going TO New York City. I have two amazing children, who I love dearly, but who are acutely aware that they were not planned.
When we are little we have no idea what we want when we grow up, all we want to do is grow up. When we grow up, all we want to do is slow down time.
The question “what do you want to be when you grow up” is an unfair question to ask anyone. It’s limiting. It’s assuming you get to pick only one thing. It also makes you, at least it did me, feel like a failure when you change your mind. I have been a group sales secretary for a resort in the Poconos; I was a Legal Secretary and then a Paralegal, then a Sr. Paralegal. I was an Office Manager and then a part owner of a ticket company. Then I was a manager at a hair salon and a pastry chef in a French restaurant. I owned a bakery, and now I manage “cats”, that is to say, I manage a bunch of experiential marketing people.
I am proud to say I will never retire from one company with a gold watch (do they still do that or am I watching too much Mad Men?). I am proud to say I’ve had a LOT of jobs. A few husbands. A lot, A LOT, of experiences all of which have made me the amazing person I am and for that I am proud.
So, don’t limit that eight-year-old kid when you plant the seed in their head by asking “what do you want to BE when you grow up?” Instead, we should ask “what things do you want to DO WHILE you are growing up.”
It’s not too late to do what you want to do, to experience all you want to experience. Think outside of the box your 8-year-old self was put in and do what you want!
Photo Cred: James DeNicola (that’s me as an eight-year-old)