One unfortunate facet of being a kid is you often can’t wait until you grow up, because clearly that is when you get to decide everything for yourself, society sees you as an independent being and you can finally eat ice cream whenever you please. Although I have it on good faith that some kids realise how good they have it at that age, and make the best of those care-free days, I spent a lot of time waiting to grow up, to get out.
I always remember wishing I was a boy, or at least to be able to do everything ‘boys did’ and for it not to be a big deal and I hated the realities and expectations that came with being a girl. Then, from about the ages of 8 to 15 (yes I know this is quite old, don’t judge me), if anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say I wanted to be a detective. Yes, the trenchcoat-wearing, coffee-sipping, perp-catching kind. It’s all I thought about, I’d devour any mystery book or TV show I could find, I spent many hours planning elaborate perfect crimes and how my keen senses of observation and powers of deduction would always help me figure out whodunnit in the end. Which is why when reality struck (and the fact that I actually have very poor reflexes, upper body strength or the inability to watch a televised murder without shielding my eyes) I realised I wanted to be the next best thing, a scientist. I still get to solve mysteries, but without the threat of physical danger. Actually, that’s still a possibility in my line of work. But lately I’ve realised that there’s more to that question and growing up than what career you choose, there’s so much more to the decisions you make about your life and how you choose to live it than what pays the bills, and it’s still something I’m figuring out today. Which is why if someone were to ask that question of me now, all I would say is ‘to be happy’.
What did you want to be as you were growing up? How close did you get to what you wanted to be/do? And are you happy that you did/didn’t do so?