Grow Up


The classroom was busy with noise. Little children whispered and snickered, and could not stay still in their seats. At last the teacher came in the room. As she began talking, pairs of tiny eyes looked eagerly at her. "I want to know what each of you would like to be when you grow up," she said. "Jimmy? What do you want to be?"

Jimmy sat up straight. "A fireman!!" Jimmy proclaimed.

 "And you, Mary?" the teacher asked.

 "A nurse!" Mary replied.

 "And what about you, Bobby?" And on she questioned the entire class. The scene is all too familiar. We all went through it at one time or another. What I would like to know is, how many of those children actually became what they said? Probably not many. As we grow older we change and we have new experiences that lead us in different directions. One day we may want to be a fireman, another day, an astronaut. I can remember teachers asking me that same horrible question when I was in kindergarten. I remember most of the children tended to have the same occupations in mind: firemen, astronauts, doctors, nurses, etc; all those splendidly dramatic jobs with danger and excitement, not to mention good pay. I know when I was asked for an answer, I was never quite sure what to say. I knew for sure that I had no clue what I wanted to do, and that I had plenty of time to make up my mind. Why do we have to decide now? I thought. I always wondered what relevance the question had since we were so young and inexperienced, and didn't know the full possibilities available to us yet. And I hated the question because I wanted to be honest and say, "I don't know yet". But that was never good enough for a teacher, they would always come back with, "Isn't there something you want to do or to be?" So I would settle for lying to them and tell them the popular 'girl' answer: "I want to be a nurse when I grow up." I never once wanted to be a nurse.

I dreamed for a long time that I wanted to be a world-class dancer. I took lessons for ten years, but I was always disappointed with my accomplishments. My dreams of floating freely across the stage with Baryshnikov vanished into the air. I turned my attention to another of my passions, music, and I imagined what it would be like to be a famous singer. But not being graced with an enchanting voice dissolved those ambitions. I tried playing the piano for a year, but my fingers refused to cooperate with me. And I could not compete with a naturally gifted sister who had a knack for the piano. So I began to take interest in art. I wasn't very adept at that, either, although I proved I at least had imagination and creativity. I just couldn't get the idea of 3-D down. I slowly began to realize I had to find something that I was good at. How about accounting? It seemed easy enough in high school, but then the onslaught of college taught me I wasn't ready for the real world of accounting. I was failing miserably, so I had to think of something else, and quick. As a last resort, I took my credits and finished college with a degree in human resource management, even though I am not what you would call a "people-person". I am currently working in human resources, but I do not find great pleasure in doing so. So what do I want to be when I grow up? I am still contemplating the answer.

 My other interests include crafts and computers. I really enjoy creating flower arrangements, decorating t-shirts and practicing calligraphy. I have created many arrangements for family and friends, as well as t-shirts, sweatshirts, and a little calligraphy here and there. I don't feel I am good enough yet to sell crafts for a living, but I still enjoy them as a hobby. As for computers, I am still learning about them. I enjoy surfing the Internet when I get the chance, and I want to learn more about creating web pages. I would love to take a class as well, but I haven't found any yet. And I am not sure I am ready for the investment it would take to get all the necessary equipment to create web pages successfully for income.

 What about writing? I have always enjoyed English in school because it's been relatively easy for me. And I enjoy writing, in those rare instances that I have the inspiration. I have been told before that I am "good" at writing, but I never really fully pursued it as anything other than a hobby. Is it time for me to consider it full-time? I haven't decided that either. I mean, what would I write about? Where is my niche? What would make me stand out and be noticed? And where would I go from there? I am not sure I am ready for the world of writing novels quite yet.

 So what's a poor girl to do? Should I give it all up and just be happy as a housewife, a jack-of-all interests and master of none? I believe for now, I would like to write in my spare time, and I would only consider doing it full time if I am given the chance to make a good living as a writer. I don't want to devote all of my time to a craft just to have the industry reject me. In the meantime, I have to make a living doing something. Will it be in human resources, or perhaps selling crafts, or maybe even in web design? Who knows, maybe I can find a way to combine them all! I can only say that I intend to try again and again until I find exactly what it is I really enjoy doing the most and that I am truly good at. There are many things that I could do, if only I could find the ones that would make me successful. The only thing I know for sure is that I am still that same little girl, still unable to make up her mind about what she wants to be. And my time has not run out yet.

"And Denise? What do you want to be?" the teacher demands.

Give me some time. I'll get back to you when I grow up and figure it out.
 
 


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hat I had plenty of time to make up my mind. Why do we have to decide now? I thought. I always wondered what relevance the question had since we were so young and inexperienced, and didn't know the full possibilities available to us yet. And I hated the question because I wanted to be honest and say, "I don't know yet". But that was never good enough for a teacher, they would always come back with, "Isn't there something you want to do or to be?" So I would settle for lying to them and tell them the popular 'girl' answer: "I want to be a nurse when I grow up." I never once wanted to be a nurse.

I dreamed for a long time that I wanted to be a world-class dancer. I took lessons for ten years, but I was always disappointed with my accomplishments. My dreams of floating freely across the stage with Baryshnikov vanished into the air. I turned my attention to another of my passions, music, and I imagined what it would be like to be a famous singer. But not being graced with an enchanting voice dissolved those ambitions. I tried playing the piano for a year, but my fingers refused to cooperate with me. And I could not compete with a naturally gifted sister who had a knack for the piano. So I began to take interest in art. I wasn't very adept at that, either, although I proved I at least had imagination and creativity. I just couldn't get the idea of 3-D down. I slowly began to realize I had to find something that I was good at. How about accounting? It seemed easy enough in high school, but then the onslaught of college taught me I wasn't ready for the real world of accounting. I was failing miserably, so I had to think of something else, and quick. As a last resort, I took my credits and finished college with a degree in human resource management, even though I am not what you would call a "people-person". I am currently working in human resources, but I do not find great pleasure in doing so. So what do I want to be when I grow up? I am still contemplating the answer.

 My other interests include crafts and computers. I really enjoy creating flower arrangements, decorating t-shirts and practicing calligraphy. I have created many arrangements for family and friends, as well as t-shirts, sweatshirts, and a little calligraphy here and there. I don't feel I am good enough yet to sell crafts for a living, but I still enjoy them as a hobby. As for computers, I am still learning about them. I enjoy surfing the Internet when I get the chance, and I want to learn more about creating web pages. I would love to take a class as well, but I haven't found any yet. And I am not sure I am ready for the investment it would take to get all the necessary equipment to create web pages successfully for income.

 What about writing? I have always enjoyed English in school because it's been relatively easy for me. And I enjoy writing, in those rare instances that I have the inspiration. I have been told before that I am "good" at writing, but I never really fully pursued it as anything other than a hobby. Is it time for me to consider it full-time? I haven't decided that either. I mean, what would I write about? Where is my niche? What would make me stand out and be noticed? And where would I go from there? I am not sure I am ready for the world of writing novels quite yet.

 So what's a poor girl to do? Should I give it all up and just be happy as a housewife, a jack-of-all interests and master of none? I believe for now, I would like to write in my spare time, and I would only consider doing it full time if I am given the chance to make a good living as a writer. I don't want to devote all of my time to a craft just to have the industry reject me. In the meantime, I have to make a living doing something. Will it be in human resources, or perhaps selling crafts, or maybe even in web design? Who knows, maybe I can find a way to combine them all! I can only say that I intend to try again and again until I find exactly what it is I really enjoy doing the most and that I am truly good at. There are many things that I could do, if only I could find the ones that would make me successful. The only thing I know for sure is that I am still that same little girl, still unable to make up her mind about what she wants to be. And my time has not run out yet.

"And Denise? What do you want to be?" the teacher demands.

Give me some time. I'll get back to you when I grow up and figure it out.
 
 


Back to the Writings Page