What do I want to be when I grow up? I’ve been pondering this question for many many years now. Funny how our interests change over time. My earliest memories of this question would have yielded responses like a ballerina or a cheerleader. I never had the chance to officially try cheerleading; however, I was a ballerina for eight years. But as a teenager I found hanging out with my friends more important and decided to call it quits. What a shame.
In middle school my answer would have been a teacher. I had a friend whose father had a basement with an old printing machine and tons of paper. She even had a wall-size chalkboard. We would create our own worksheets and tests and play school for hours.
In high school, when my English teacher asked us to write an essay on what we wanted to be when we grew up, my answer was the president or vice president of a bank. I was definitely more ambitious then.
In college it became more critical to choose the appropriate subjects based on what I wanted to be when I grew up. As the world of career choices opened up for me, the choices became even more difficult. I wanted to do everything. I wanted to major in accounting, in financial planning, in teaching, in psychology. I loved it all, so much so that my degree lacked the required focus for any real career path. More than that, I loved school. I could have made it my life’s goal to be a professional college student. But, after veering off course for several years, I finally decided on a communications degree. It was the easiest degree I could work on in the shortest amount of time that would use the majority of my off-the-course courses. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with that degree, but at least I had a goal.
In my official junior year of my communications degree, I made a life-changing decision. My husband and I decided to start a family. It wasn’t a conscious decision to throw my education or future career endeavors off track. I was in my late 20’s and figured that is usually takes a woman several months to get pregnant. I had time, or so I thought. I got pregnant on the first try. Virginia was born at the end of my junior year. My senior year would never take place.
On occasion I miss my dream of being a life-long college student, but who has time with two kids and a job (or the money for that matter). If I were to go back to school now, I would still have that question hanging over my head…what do I want to be when I grow up? I still don’t know; regardless of my indecision, I did not fail. I had one dream that remained constant throughout my life…at any age you would have asked me. I fulfilled that dream, and am happy every moment of my life for my accomplishment….to be a mother.