What will I be when I grow up? I didn’t have any idea as an 18 year old girl graduating high school. I never had visions of myself as a teacher or a vet or an, anything, really. I’m not quite sure I imagined life after high school.
So I picked a major and went a direction. I studied hard, worked fairly hard, and… changed my major. As it turned out, while I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, I learned I didn’t want to do THAT when I grew up.
New major, new idea, pursued something else that seemed like a better fit. Picked a broad field, something helpful in scope, surely it would translate into some job. Still no vision of what I was going to be when I grew up, but I went about the day to day of getting it done.
Graduated with a degree and honors, and still I had no idea what I was going to do. I got married right out of college (like 4 weeks out of college 😳), so a wife was apparently something I was going to be. Grown up or not, that was going to be my first thing.
Working a job, still no “career” I couldn’t see myself as one thing. At that point I only knew what I didn’t want to be when I grew up. Mother- I didn’t want to be a mother. Pretty sure I wouldn’t be good at it, very sure I didn’t want to share my husband and mess up that gig, no mothering for me.
Until I did want that.
So, wife and mother have filled my days. And I love it. I’m grateful that I’ve been allowed to spend my time being those two things- focusing on the joys and responsibilities of each. Savoring them, some days more than others. Enduring them, also some days more than others.
But as my kids get older and begin to outgrow this nest, the question is coming back around. What do I want to be when I grow up?
What I enjoy most and the things I feel I’m good at are things that I’m not sure I can find anyone willing to pay me to do. I like to write. It feels good to get it out and to maybe allow someone else to grab hold of my words to allow them to feel less alone- like a piece of wood floating by a person stranded at sea. A safe place to cling to if just for a minute.
Or being a friend. Not sure that’s something I can put on a resume. Listening to a friend’s heart, hearing her pain or her joy and sitting in each alongside her. Sometimes, when it’s required, speaking difficult truths in love to help her see the forest and the trees. And laughing with her. Definitely laughing. Know anyone hiring for this position?
Professional hugger, toucher, hand-holder-maybe I could find someone to pay me for this, but I’m afraid we’d probably be at odds about the true nature and duties of the position. 🙄
As I talk with all of these high school kids approaching graduation and ask about their plans for the future, I guess it just reminds me. It reminds me that perhaps, for some of us, our lives aren’t so clear. We may spend our days figuring out what we don’t want to be when we grow up. And hopefully, as we whittle away at what we don’t want there, we’ll find that we are making a worthwhile life in the meantime. I hope so at least.
I guess I can let you know when I grow up.