Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Are you what you wanted to be when you grew up?

It is a funny thing to ask someone 'what do you want to be when you grow up'? At 5, at 10, at 15 at 20 at 40 at 60. Are you what you wanted to be? And how do you navigate when "front keeps changing" (Richard James Allen)

When I tell people I am a dancer, their expression reminds me how so many little girls want to be dancers. So, how do we find our way to where we we want to be when we grow up?  Do parents pave the future boards? What is it that sets you up and trips you onto your course? Are you where you are just because you once said you would?  Did people tell you you were so great at 'this' or 'that' that you continue despite a longing for something else? Or is it a matter of just one foot in front of the other until you arrive where you didn't expect?

An old friend recently updated her world status on facebook by announcing she was going back to uni to study history and literature. She is almost forty with two children. This girl was always a bit of a hero to me- a little older and wiser - we connected over the creation of  early teenage choreography in the Bussleton caravan park, with Michael Jackson the order of the day. Helen was always meant to be a writer. I absolutely knew she would be. But she didn't become one. She did other things. And now she is finally pursuing what (I think) was always meant to be.

As a girl I once said I wanted to be the headmistress (back in the days of Malory Towers, Green Gables and the Naughtiest Girl in school) of the best Performing Arts school in the world.  My mum always wanted to fly a plane-and very recently she did! In the BIG pages we feature interviews with "People who grew up to be who they wanted to be when they grew up". Are you one of those people?
What do you want to be when you grow up? ;)

Mama flying in to Perth from Hong Kong (with a little help from www.flightexperience.com)


  1. It's funny, I was talked out of becoming a primary teacher by a well-meaning uncle. I went into other things that I've also loved - design, marketing and becoming an entrepreneur. While I don't think I will ever actually teach, I am currently obsessed with kids' education, creativity and play. The level of research I am currently putting into my kids' products goes waaaaay beyond what is needed, but really fills this part of my soul.

    Can't wait to see the finished magazine - getting so excited!

  2. I wanted to be Indiana Jones. An archeologist. I wanted to work in museums and put together collections and teach. When I went to college, I was encouraged to get a degree in something that would = a good job, and so I ended up choosing speech pathology. I remember a well-meaning relative telling me, when I mentioned possibly majoring in history, "Oh, you don't want to do that! Think of all those papers you'll have to write!". Speech pathology has been a great career, and I am very good at it, but at this stage in my life, I am very close to returning to school (at age 41 and with 3 kids!) to get a degree in my original love -- art history and museum studies. :)


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