What do you want to be when you grow up?
This question plagued me throughout my childhood. I didn’t know the answer. Unlike seemingly everyone around me, I held no clue to my own skills, talents and dreams. I moved from wanting to be a famous actress, to an ice-skater (it doesn’t EVER snow in Adelaide, where I grew up), to a hairdresser, to a model. At one stage, I even entertained the idea of becoming a princess. I think you get the idea…I drifted aimlessly.
Now I am grown up, I know the answer and I work towards it. I want to be a published author; a book with my name on it for sale in the bookshops. I don’t feel that it’s too late—for it’s never too late to start chasing your dreams, or setting goals—or unachievable. Yet I am realistic and pragmatic, too.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Regardless of whether or not you feel as though you are successfully adulting, what is your answer to this question. For it’s only when we voice it, feel it, believe it, grow it and see it, can it be so.
I think sometimes we might be afraid of voicing our dreams for fear of others belittling it. I remember, as a girl of about eleven, right in the middle of my desire to be an actress, I voiced this to someone. This person raised her eyebrows in a most astonished fashion and scoffed, ‘I can’t see that happening.’ I deflated there, on the spot. I was a puddle of skin and innards, dreams and self-esteem smashed.
This woman was not a very nice lady. There were more, many more, examples of her vile and rude ways, but I won’t sport with your intelligence by listing them here. Despite her ill-mannered reply to an innocent girl’s response to her question, she turned out to be right. That dream of mine didn’t become reality. I wonder though how much of it had to do with her demeaning response. What if I hadn’t told her? What if I’d told her and she encouraged me? What if, what if, what if?
My point is, we can’t all be famous. But we can all dream and strive to reach that dream. We all have a responsibility to live our best life, and a by-product of this is to help others’ live their best life too. We’re all in this together.
Oh, and don’t shit all over a child’s response when you ask them what they hope to be when they’re older.