As children we had all sorts of crazy ideas to fill in this blank. Most of us were sure we would be firefighter, superhero, astronaut, scientist, veterinarians. Then adolescence knocks us down causing our confidence to wane and our interests narrow. As we near adulthood, we realize that a career path requires a lot of effort, a little luck, and perhaps some talent. We start choosing more realistic career paths based off things like effort and return, security and stability, and less on our childhood dreams. We make a choice and we go with it ending up investing time and money into a career that becomes our identity and we wear it like a second name. Sometimes, we hesitate or wander and delay our career path. Eventually a choice is placed before us and we take it because we have to or we are too scared to do anything else.
As a child, I wanted to be a baseball player, a scientist, a teacher, a writer, or Superman. Eventually, in high school, I determined I would be a doctor and started down that path. A couple years into college I got a job at a hospital and realized that I was not cut out to be a doctor. I discovered that as much as I wanted to help sick people, I did not like being around sickness, death, and serious things all the time. Through a series of choices and non-choices, various majors and various universities, I ended up in my current job working at a medical laboratory doing anything but playing baseball.
I love my company, and I am very thankful for my job. I am good at it. I have been here almost fourteen years. I have a good working environment, income sufficient to raise a family, and respect from my peers. The perks are many, and I count my blessings every day.
But, I still go back to that timeless question. What DO I want to be when I grow up? I really don’t want to be a baseball player even if I had the ability. I have spent over a decade in a lab, I have no more desire to be a scientist.
You know what I still want to do? I want to be a writer. I want to use my imagination, not my soft skills. I want to create words that take people away from their mundane lives. I want to invent characters that people can view as friends. I want to write stories, not emails. I want to connect with readers, not clients.
And the best part of all of this? I am doing it. I am doing it while I still keep my day job with all its perks.
I am growing up. And I am a writer.