When I grow up…

I’ll be 29 in a few weeks (and no, this isn’t my fifth time turning 29. I really am 29. I swear.). Crap, I’m getting older. I’ve actually started contorting my eyes a little when I pose for pictures because I’m convinced they look old and squinty. ***shrug*** I don’t know. Maybe I need new glasses (God, I hope that’s it.). I digress.

So, back to the fact that I’m closing in on thirty with what feels like warp speed. I do NOT think 30 is old. I am not afraid of turning 30. I can only hope I age as phenomenally as this kick ass lady.

But, at this point, a gal starts to think a little more about where she is in her life. If you asked my little cousins, they’d tell you that above all, I.AM.HUSBANDLESS and somehow, this translates to, “You loser! Go work someplace with men so you can get a date.” True story. My cousin Madeline suggested that I go work in a “car shop place” so I can meet a man. She’s twelve.

Now, since they’re all pretty small children, I’ll take that opinion with a grain of salt. As I’ve told my mother (“What do you mean, you don’t want a wedding shower when you get married?!??!”…”Um…shouldn’t I have a groom first?”), a husband is pretty low on my priority list of what it will take to make me feel accomplished. I love my job and the people I work with now, but it’s not what I want to do with the rest of my life. What makes me happy is creating things. But, how the heck does one parlay this into a career? Let’s hope my Master’s program can help me answer that…

Since there’s such a huge age difference between me and my cousins, it’s particularly interesting to watch them grow up in this era and see how their visions of the future take shape. My cousin Mia told me last week she wants to be a news anchor. My cousin Sarah is a bit more non-specific– basically, she wants to rule the world as a hipper Martha Stewart.

I don’t remember everything I wanted to be…I do know one of many things I wanted to be was Kristi Yamaguchi. Er, an ice skater, not a different ethnicity.

Evidence. This fifth grade project…the assignment: Who would you have dinner with if you could pick one person?

Oh, but wait for it. It gets so much better.
That's right, folks. My fifth grade self was going to order an Olympic figure skater a bacon burger and curly fries at Chili's. Awesome.
But what the heck would we wear?? You can see where “The Babysitter's Club's” very own Claudia Kishi of whacko fashion fame influenced me in this next one.
I'll spare you the interview. I'm still recovering from that outfit description.

You know, when I was preparing myself to be the next Kristi, no one told me that a girl who is 5’9 and has more than her fair share of cleavage probably isn’t going to defy the laws of physics and become the next Olympic gold medalist (Seriously, I met Tara Lipinski once and I could have put her in my pocket. I looked like Paul Bunyan next to her.). Despite that, Ice skating was and still is one of my great joys in life. I think that's why we have dreams- in striving for them, however unrealistic or unlikely they may be, there is still happiness to be found in the effort to explore and/or make them happen.

As I struggle to figure out what the heck I want to do with my life, I have to stop questioning the choices I’ve made up to this point. I am where I am. Now, if I want to be someplace different and take all of my talents and make them into something that will sustain me monetarily as much as spiritually, I better get cracking.

As kids, we’re asked what we want to be and we’re told that it’s within our reach if we just want it enough and work hard enough. As adults I think most of us struggle with being certain of what we want and then struggle with getting to where we want to be—we’re told we can do it, but most of us aren’t told how unless we enter a career with a stringently prescribed course of study.

Let’s get real. Life isn’t the same as when our parents and their parents grew up. Now, the focus isn’t JUST, “Get a stable job so you can support your family!” In our generation of yuppies, hipsters and helicopter parenting, success has been somewhat redefined. Sure, financial worth is still a huge part of it, but now, people are encouraged to and search for careers that they’ll be happy in, or feel fulfilled doing.

College is no longer a guarantee that you will find a job, let alone a job doing something you’ll love. Interestingly, while we’re talking about job security, let’s talk about the fact that people don’t stay in a company just because they’re loyal and if they work there for 35 years they’ll be rewarded. When people are unhappy, they look for a new job.

So, as I approach my thirtieth year, maybe THIS will be the one where I finally decide what I want to be when I grow up. Welcome to the life of a woman with a liberal arts education (ok, I’m halfway through my Master’s, but still). In a world with so many possibilities that are constantly expanding, I think I’m ok with still trying to figure it out.


5 thoughts on “When I grow up…

  1. Hey girl. I hear you. The good news is, we can constantly change our direction (and careers). Have you ever thought about being a stylist, or interior design. I feel like you’d rock that. Take the pressure off 30 and enjoy your last weeks as 28, and a full year of 29. You only get these moments once. Live in the present. I love you ;)

  2. I did not meet my husband until I was almost 32 then it was fast. We just knew. so by the time I was 33 i was married. No worries. I am about to be 44 in a couple days and my books still are not published. But I have a home, job I enjoy, and a husband. God will provide. Merry Christmas!

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