When I Grow Up

My son is graduating high school this June and the daughter will graduate in a couple of years.  So right now we are immersed in the "what to do when I grow up" phase.  I keep telling them that they can change and most likely will change what they do for a living many times.  That taking classes in one area of study doesn't doom you to only ever learning about that subject. 

They are wary of my answers, even suspicious like I'd actually lie to them about this.  They think I'm trying to force them to do something they don't want to.  I'm actually trying to force them to do something they do want to do.  But then I'll leave out the force and just encourage them to be open to learning and new experiences.

Then of course they have to ask me about my life.  So I tell them the sad tale.  When I was a kid I loved to read.  I also loved to write stories and during elementary school I wrote tons of stories.  I wanted to be a writer then.  The more I read though the more convinced I was that I could never be as good as the writers who's stories I loved.  Instead of just exploring my own abilities I measured myself against others even before I'd tried. 

My dream of being a writer dwindled away but a small spark stayed with me (the reason I blog).  New dreams replaced my childhood ones and most of them came true because I worked to make them come true.  I graduated from University, I got married, I had two beautiful children.  I even got to stay home to raise my kids which is the envy of many people.  No, I am not wealthy.  I do not have a great job.  I won't have much of a pension.  I can't say I 'd change very much though.

Sometimes I get to dreaming a life I know I would never like.  I dream of traveling all over the world and having a career that made tons of money but both those things take sacrificing some things.  To travel would mean I'm not home with my family and I'm actually a home body and am happy taking short trips.  World travel never appealed to me that much and still doesn't.  To have a high powered career would mean I didn't get to stay at home to raise my kids and would have missed much of their formative years.  The kids and I had fun when they were little.  It was fairly stress free because we could do what we wanted with no jobs or daycare to rush off to.  We could sleep as long as we needed (or as long as I could keep them in bed) and spend our days at the park or in the yard.

When I think of changing the past I end up thinking I'm where I should be.  If I had made other choices, which I didn't, I'd be somewhere else and have a whole new set of problems to deal with.  So when my kids ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up I just tell them I wanted what I have.  Every choice I made got me here so that must be what I wanted or I'd have made different choices.  Not everyone has a clear path to their future all marked out and even the ones that do can end up changing their mind once they get to their goal.  Life is like that, fluid and changing.  One minute you think you want to live in a big city so you do and then you find out you really like small town life so much better.  I'd never have known that unless I lived in a few different places.

When I grow up I want to be where I am.  I want to have people around me who love me and who I love.  I want to keep learning and growing and doing new things.  I don't ever want the growing up to stop.

Comments

You're right, Sparkless -- everything is a trade-off. So long as people choose their own trade-offs though, it's not hard to accept them.
Sparkless said…
Debra, I complain lots but when it comes down to it I have only myself to blame for where I am so I can either accept it and be happy or change it. I'm choosing to accept it today.
Mama Pea said…
A lovely post!

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