What do you want to be when you grow up?
It was such a magical question when I was little. I could be anything I wanted and no one could stand in my way. My dream job changed given the day and that was half the fun of it. I could be a doctor, a vet, a teacher, an actress. Anything.
In 5th grade, we took a career placement test. It consisted of a series of intense questions regarding our futures. I scored in the Creative Arts section, which listed potential jobs such as artist, dancer, musician, writer. I wrote “dancer” as my choice. Who wouldn’t?
In high school, I began thinking a bit more realistically. I had been to a few school dances and had come to terms with my complete and utter lack of rhythm. I loved kids, but after sharing that I’d like to be a pediatrician, my guidance counselor glanced skeptically at my math and science grades, so I figured I needed to be even more realistic. I loved kids and reading and writing.
Teacher. I’d be a teacher.
I went to college, loved all of my classes and focused on middle school students. I got a job as a language arts teacher. Oh, and a volleyball coach (yeah, I was cut from the 8th grade team), but to get the job I had to be a coach, so I became a coach. And I loved it. Well, most of the time.
And then I became a mom. I loved staying home and helping my daughter grow up, but I missed the challenge that came with working. I missed problem solving, talking to other teachers and making connections with the kids. I needed a job to come to me, a flexible job where I could be creative, problem solve and speak to kids.
So I became a writer.
Last weekend, we met friends for a little getaway. As the guys played poker, the girls sat around, drank wine and played one of those dinner question games where you pull a card and ask a question. One of the questions was, “If money didn’t matter and you could do any job in the world, what would you do?”
One of my friends said she’d be a chef, one said an artist and one a fashion designer. When it was my turn, I scoured my brain for something I’d rather be, something magical and exciting and fulfilling. I drew a blank. I didn’t want to be the only one who said I wouldn’t change a thing about my job (if you could call it that). But it was the truth. I’m a writer. And it’s the most magical and exciting and fulfilling job in the world for me.
So I blushed and gave an honest answer. I couldn’t be any happier.