You might think that this is an odd title for a blog post. Especially seeing as though I am in my 40’s now. Where did the time go?! But I have thought a lot recently about what I want to be when I grow up. How do people figure out what they want to do with their lives – what they’re “meant” to do? Sometimes I feel like I just throw things at the wall to see what will stick. I discuss struggles with finding my passion in my previous blog post Another day, another butterfly. If you haven’t watched the link in there to Cass Phillipps TedX talk, I highly suggest watching it.
Going back to my youth, my earliest memory of what I wanted to be when I grew up was when I was in girl scouts in elementary school back in the early 80’s. I had a girl scout leader who had flown over Mount St. Helens in the aftermath of the explosion back in 1980. I thought that was the coolest thing in the world! So I decided I wanted to be a geologist. It still sounds like a pretty cool occupation to me today. After that passed I went through a phase of wanting to be a teacher and apparently an accountant at one point.
Sometime in the late 80’s/early 90’s I became interested in space. I still have the newspaper clippings from when the Hubble Space Telescope was launched. I thought it would be cool to actually build things in space! In high school I was decent at math and science – not particularly good, but I was one of only girls in my A.P. Physics class (and after the first semester, THE only girl). It seemed like the thing to do was engineering. At that time (maybe still true today I’m not sure) everyone seemed really excited about getting girls into the field of engineering. When I started college, I was double majoring in Space and Civil engineering. Being realistic I figured the demand for civil engineers was probably higher than that of space engineers. I hung in there for a year and a half before flunking both Thermodynamics and Statics made me realize that maybe engineering was not for me. I still wonder if I was just not dedicated enough as let’s just say I definitely enjoyed college, especially the first few years.
After dropping engineering, I ended up going into Psychology. I toyed with minoring in Statistics and Human Development briefly, but neither panned out. For a while I thought maybe social work was the place for me. But then I volunteered at a visitation house for parents who had been separated from their children for various allegations… and realized that was not for me. I have mad respect for people who can though! I also briefly considered going on to a master’s program in museum studies. Instead after graduation, I just moved back home and got a job at a call center for a bank/mortgage lender.
I ended up working at the bank for 15 years, moving up from the call center into the risk management department as a quality analyst (even briefly a manger). During that time I still wasn’t feeling that I was where I wanted to be, so I ended up getting an associate’s degree in the paralegal field and then an MBA in finance. But I stayed at the bank – it was comfortable, I liked the people I worked with and the benefits were really good. The work however wasn’t fulfilling. So after my daughters were born I quit to stay home with them. I had always enjoyed children and really wanted to be a mom. As it turns out, having your own children is NOTHING like being around other people’s children (who knew, right?!)
So now that my girls are in part time preschool and will be starting kindergarten in a year and a half, I’m back to wondering what I should do when I grow up. Or maybe more precisely, when they grow up. I thought about genealogy… but wasn’t quite sure if my passion for it would extend to other people’s families or if you could actually make a living doing it. I’ve toyed with the idea of working at a library as I love books. In case you couldn’t tell, right now I’m thinking maybe blogging is what I want to do. I also like the idea of woodworking, but I think that’s more of a hobby that a job. So the long and short of it is, I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Sometimes I wonder if I ever will. I’d like to be ok with that, but I’m still working on it. As you can What do you want to be when you grow up? Have you figured it out? I’d love to hear how!!