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what did you want to be when you grew up?

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Today's ma birthday, celebrating like a 34 year old should....in Vegas with my favorite person, my hubby.

I wrote this on the plane, for you.....

So, what do you wanna be?

We ask kids this question all the time….

What do you want to BEEEEE….

when you grow up?

Depending on their age, kids might say they want to be a:

  1. Firefighter
  2. Police officer
  3. Doctor
  4. Vet
  5. Power Ranger
  6. Princess
  7. Teacher
  8. Actor
  9. Pirate
  10. I don’t know….

Ask a grown up (relative term, I know) the same question and you get:

"I don’t know…."

While its fun to ask the little people in our lives about who they see themselves as when they’re older, this puts an unnecessary focus on the future.

And we wonder why kids can’t wait to grow up, finish school, get bigger, taller, stronger, faster, older.

Most grown-ups respond to the rushing pint-sized person with;

"don’t rush it, enjoy it, these are the best days of your life!"

 

First of all, if we’re talking about high school, I’m going to be honest with the kids, these are not the best days of your life, but it’s only 4 years, you’ll get through it. May as well find a way to make it fun!

So why do we ask our kids what they want to be when they grow up, comment on how much they’re growing and tell them about all the things they “get to do” when they’re BIG?

Let’s focus on what they’re capable at doing now!

riding bikes

running

playing sports

building a Lego house

coloring…with CRAYONS…

and playing until you fall over from exhaustion.

 

What’s funnier, is we ask our kids what they want to be, they tell us, then we start planting seeds….

“no, you won’t make any money if you do that” “I’m not going to support you if you do that” “not while you’re living under my roof”

…or “those people are a-holes, don’t be one of them”

…or “you’re going to go to Harvard, so you’ll have lots of options.”

 

Will they, really?

How do you balance providing parental guidance with imposing your will on them?

They are not little versions of you. They’re not yours, sure we say they’re “our kids” but they came into this world through us. Of course you’ll sound like a turd saying, “That kid over there who scored the goal came through me into this universe!”

 

When I was “little”

When I was 10 I wanted to be “a rich and famous fashion designer in Paris”. I used to have binders full of fashion sketches, some would get pretty darn fancy (if I do say so myself).

I find this quite funny now, because I really have almost no fashion sense. I read blogs like this to give me ideas on what to wear. I never really know if my shoes “go” with my outfit. I’ve also grown to care a lot less about this kind of stuff and wear my crocs flip flops with everything....because they're comfortable.

I’d enter contests with shoe designs that I’d never win.

I didn’t go to fashion school because it was expensive, and it seemed too hard. Besides, I didn’t know how to sew, and where would I live?

I didn’t want to be a starving artist.

I talked myself out of it. What if I did go to fashion school? I might not have ended up a rich and famous fashion designer, but maybe I would have designed jewelry, or scarfs, or purses….and of course lived in Paris and drank copious amounts of French wine. Now I live in the Chicago burbs and drink copious amounts of American wine. But I AM looking at the Eiffel tower right now....the Las Vegas version from our hotel room, and I couldn't be happier!

I don’t have the answer. All I can do is focus on what feels good. What I like, and that’s certainly not doing one thing. Blogger, consultant, communications strategy, writer, teacher, parenting and wife-ing (if that's a thing).

It feels good. I’m getting to do some things I love and I’ve got oodles of support at home and at work to keep piling on more things I love. I no longer need split personalities.

What about you???

I’ve got THREE questions for you. Leave your answers in the comments:

  1. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

  2. What are you doing now?

  3. What would you tell your younger self now?