What did you want to be when you grew up?

vintage child image
Retro child
Do you remember when you were little and thinking forward to what you wanted to be? If you ask my nephew he will very loudly and proudly tell you he wants to be a FIREMAN! That wont change, and since we took him to a firehouse downtown Detroit, he got to ride in the truck and meet the chief, I doubt that will ever change.
When I was younger I wanted to be a ballerina, a writer, an astronaut and then later a teacher. A lack of balance and a fear of heights changed those later, and while I continued to write I never saw a future in it so pushed it to the side.

From 3rd grade until I reached college I wanted to be a teacher – nothing would change that, except college. I wanted a challenge, the classes didn’t challenge me. Not to say that controlling a room of 20+ small children isn’t a challenge, I just wanted something different. For two years I sat through courses in pursuit of a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular biology.. I burned out quick. I didn’t mind science going into it, but had love/hate relationship with it by the time my first two years were done.

It took some time for me to figure out after that what I wanted to do with my life. I looked back to that aptitude test we all took in 8th grade and laughed. My top three career paths – Teacher, Scientist or Interior Designer. Now even in 8th grade I threw the designer out the window, while I liked doing artistic things, working on the house – but never saw a teacher in it. But figured, what would one class hurt?

That summer semester I took a basic design course and hand drafting at the community college and was hooked. There was a real future in it, I could get a career but wanted a four year degree. I transferred to a school with an accredited degree program. Got a Bachelors with minors in marketing and historic preservation.

I went onto a masters degree at the second best program in the nation, completed a three year program in two years. I finished with distinction – my gpa was so high. I found my niche! I had a highly coveted internship and was working in a firm.

Then the bottom fell out…

I was done with my degree, laid off and no job openings in sight. The market for interior design crashed. Designers I knew who were seniors in their firms were being let go and working at Target.

What can you do? I found myself reinventing myself – finding a new niche. I used my graphic knowledge to build websites, to bring in some money. I worked on art projects, made jewelry – things to bring in small checks to keep my head above the water with my unemployment benefits.

Today, I’m still doing design so some degree. I occasionally do interior projects, and often do graphic design and website design. I still make jewelry. But just last week I realized, I’m writing – after all that I fell back on one of those childhood dreams. Is it what I expected to do? I doubt any child from our generation grew up saying “I want to be a blogger when I grow up!” I don’t think the concept was even in my vocabulary yet! But here I am, living out a weird version of my childhood dream. It doesn’t matter how or why- but after all these years dreams still come true.

Go chase your dreams and love what you’re doing!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.