What did you want to be when you were a child and imagined your life as an adult? What were your visions, your aspirations, your dreams? Did you, like me, change your mind every few months, depending which adult impressed you within their respective profession? Or did you follow your first dream, saw it through and are now what you always knew your calling was?
My first memory of a “dream job” was wanting to become a vet. I had read a book about a young girl who loved horses and whose father was a vet. She wanted to become a vet, and the book had romanticised the job into a luxurious yet enjoyable career that had everything lined up: enough poorly pets but none too ill so they’d die, plenty of room for extra horses and lots of spare time for family and friends. Then, inspired by my Russian ballet teacher, I wanted to be a prima ballerina. I spent hours practising in my grandmother’s living room, dancing tirelessly, sometimes more, sometimes less gracefully, for years and years, suffering many blisters and sore toes. Later I thought I’d make a good news reporter, writing my own news stories and reading them out loud during a pretend broadcast session. A little while after I thought I’d make a good nurse after visiting a family member in hospital. I loved the way nurses smiled at everyone and were so loved by the patients. Then I wanted to become a hotel receptionist, because I found it fascinating how much paperwork they used to fill out and file away. I made my own booking forms and entertained myself and friends for hours playing that we were on holiday. Later I wanted to own my own hotel because I figured, if I couldn’t always be on holiday, at least I could be part of lots of other peoples’.
Of course, over time, as I worked out my likes and dislikes, my strengths and weaknesses, my yesses and my absolute deal breakers I realised that I was too squeamish and couldn’t stand the sight of blood, needles, let alone a scalpel approaching human or animal flesh, that I wouldn’t be able to shove a bed pan under a patient’s bum and that I was too emotionally attached as that I could handle anyone’s suffering. I noticed that I didn’t like public speaking so a reporter’s job was out the window. I eventually hung up my ballet shoes for an adventure abroad and, after working evening and night shifts at a bar and hotel during my time at university I quickly established that I had always more fun being on holiday or enjoying a drink on the other side of the bar than working till 3am in the morning whilst losing all kind of rhythm of whatever normal life is supposed to be like.
So, now that I am grown up – am I what I want to be? Have I done it? No, of course not. I may be on the right way and hopefully, one day, I’ll be able to say that I am what I have always wanted to be. But seriously, how many of us really get to do exactly what they have always dreamt of? There is a song by the Pussycat Dolls “When I grow up…I wanna be famous”, and, in today’s world, it strikes me, that this is what most people want. Turn on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube – there are so many people out there trying to be something or someone. And fair play to them. I don’t think anyone should ever give up on their dreams. I don’t and won’t. I am writing and will always write. Sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on how much time I spend on working towards my other dreams and goals.
So are you one of those lucky ones who are what they always wanted to be? Do you already do your dream job? Are you currently working towards it? Or have you given up on it, discarded it as an unachievable fantasy? Have your views on how important it is to do something you love changed?
Let me know, and I will give you some more insight into my own thoughts in part two of this blog post…