So What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

21 Sep

And the little prince said to the man, “Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves. And it is tiresome for children to be always explaining things to them.” – The Little Prince

It is the age-old question that children answer with pure innocence and excitement, that teenagers consider with uncertainty and dread and that young adults contemplate with fictitious confidence, responding with what’s expected of them as opposed to what they actually want or believe.

So what did I want to be when I grew up? Some days I wanted to be a teacher or a piano player, and other days I wanted to be an artist or a stylist (yes, even as a little girl). Every day I wanted to be a mom, particularly one with three daughters named Amy (no need to worry about the logistics of that one – I had it worked out in my five-year-old mind). I have always loved writing, so as I got older, my ambitions began to focus more and more on this pursuit. Throughout my college years, opportunities opened up in public relations, which led me to my first two years in the real world. I guess I stopped asking what I wanted to be and instead went after what I could be, what my experiences would allow me to be.

When I was young, 23 was my magical age. I thought by then, I would have it all figured out: I would be settled in a big-girl apartment, be happy with my job and know where I was headed. In fact, in my youthful idealism, I even expected to be engaged, if not married by now, to the boy of my dreams. Instead, I am one year older without any real direction.  Sure, life since graduation has taught me what I don’t want for myself, but I’m no closer to figuring out what I do want.

Now, if I were asked that not-so-simple question, I would have a different set of answers than my former self. I want to find a job that makes me feel whole for eight hours every day, and I want friends and family to come home too and fill the rest of my world. I want to find a man who wants to grow up with me, to build a life together. I want to make my own path. I want to be fulfilled. I want to follow my heart, I want adventure and I want passion. I want to never regret taking a risk, I want to never live with regrets and I want to never wonder “what if” or “how come.”

So what does that all mean? It means I’m 24 years old and still unsure of what I what to be when I grow up. In fact, as I’ve gotten older, dreaming big has gotten harder, so perhaps, I’m farther from knowing than ever before. The answer seems forever beyond my grasp: I don’t know, and I don’t know how to know. But that’s okay – if I’ve learned anything from life’s challenges, it’s that the answers always come when the time is right and that the pieces unequivocally fit together, despite my propensity to complicate things further. Someday, I’ll know what I want to be when I grow up – and until then, I’ll share my adventures as I wander down my right road now.


2 Responses to “So What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?”

  1. Jamie Hamburg September 23, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    I love the idea of this blog! It’s perfect and I think a lot of people our age will relate to it. My what an amazing writer you are!

    • Betsy White September 23, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

      I think you have found your answer. You have always been a gifted writer. You have so much wisdom for 24! I love the idea of this blog! I am going to enjoy following it! This article is outstanding!

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