What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
Why is there so much pressure put on young people to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives? Forever is a long time and I know I have and am still struggling with what I want to be when I grow up...

Submitted: February 25, 2013

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Submitted: February 25, 2013



What did you want to be when your grew up?

I went through many phases. When I was ages three-five, I wanted to be a teacher. I would sit my Barbies and teddy bears in a row and "teach" them things in front of my blackboard.

When I was between six-twelve, I was certain I was going to be a pop star. My childhood best friend and I would write our own songs and sing them in front of our parents. We also performed flawless covers of Spice Girls & Britney Spears covers. What we didn't realise was how tone deaf we were to our own voices and once we started going through puberty and our voices changed, we realised those dreams weren't in reach. (Little did we know how big autotune would be in 2012, otherwise we could have stuck with it and sounded like half of the pop world today)

From there,  I remember being about 14 and having a movie night with girlfriends where we watched Legally Blonde. That was it; I was going to be a lawyer. I was just as vain and shallow as Elle Woods and she made studying law look fun so why not?! That one also fizzled out when I entered high school and had to meet with my course counsellor to choose subjects to reflect my chosen career and realised just how difficult law would be and that I didn't have enough passion for it to be my career.

At 15-16, I then thought that about what I seriously wanted to do when I left school. I always enjoyed writing and had a sense of realism enough to know that I couldn't have a successful career as just a writer straight away but what about journalism? I could see myself being a part of a group of independent writers working together in one goal: get that publication out! I was happy with my choice and even scored some work experience with the local newspaper where I my fillers were published.

I then found in my last two years at high school that I really enjoyed studying accounting and could easily help my friends when they were struggling with understanding the content. I couldn't see myself being an accountant per se but definitely liked the sound of being a teacher and specialising in accounting. As I was near the end of my secondary schooling, the pressure was on to lock in my career choice and make my university applications. I would study accounting for three years then do an additional year in high school teaching and that would be my career.

Yeah, right. Nothing is that smooth. Life happens.

I was halfway through my first year of accounting and was in way over my head. I couldn't cope with not only the work load but also the content. It was so more in depth then I had ever learnt! I dropped out and picked up more hours in my after school retail job.

A year later, I was asked to become manager in my retail position. Undecided to what I wanted to do for the rest of my days, I thought this would be satisfactory for full time work until I did decide.

Five years on, here I am. Still managing a store with no idea of what I what to be when I grow up. I did start a freelance journalism course from home trying to pursue the writer in me but with a mortgage in place, I knew it'd be difficult to freelance and start from the bottom of the chain.

I enjoy what I do but don't want to do it for the rest of my life. Is anyone else in their twenties (or later) and struggling with their career decisions? I'd love to hear from someone else about their journey whether you've found your calling or not.

So, I put to you, dear friend: what do you want to be when you grow up?

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