In my last blog I pondered over the notion that, as kids, we have certain dreams or expectations of our adult version in terms of a profession or a career. I remembered a few of the ideas I had as a child and that, looking at these daydreams with a more practical head today, I know that I am either not equipped to do any of these jobs because I am missing fundamental skills to do them (poking people with needles or handing a scalpel to a surgeon) or that they simply don’t float my boat (serving drinks till the early hours of the morning – I prefer to sleep!).
A few of you have told me some lovely and eye-opening stories about yourselves as children and your aspirations back then. You had very clear ideas of what you wanted to be and mostly achieved it. One mentioned she was happy in her job, even if it wasn’t her childhood dream involving travelling around the world. And, unlike me, there are quite a few of you that found their calling from an early age and pursued that. I salute and admire that. What a wonderful way life has, to allow us to do exactly what we want to do. There is someone who wanted to be child psychologist from the age of 8 and is fulfilling this ambition with bravado. And then there is someone who followed his career path since his teenage years, only to turn his life around and follow a completely new and different passion. What wonderful, affirming stories. But what about those like me who are still searching?
Especially in today’s world, with so many choices and possibilities, confusing and contradicting views of what we should do, finding your true self, far from Instagram and Facebook accounts, seems to be further from the truth than ever before. Of course, as we grow and change as people whilst turning into adults, our view of the world and ourselves within it changes. And with so many people seeking fame and glory and money, I wonder how many of us actually ever wondered whether the ultimate reason behind out childhood dreams was money and fame or, whether, indeed, it was to be just happy and content?
Dare I claim, if you consider the large list of rich and famous and mostly young people that have died an early death because of depression and mental health issues, I wonder whether those adult dreams are really what it’s all about? Sure, having a nice holiday once or twice a year and a house to live in, plenty of money to go round, who wouldn’t want that? But I also wonder now and again, after coming home late again after a long day at work, whether this is what life is all about? I then always remember what I read somewhere, some years ago: We spend our days commuting to a job where we spend most our time, at a job who pays for the house we barely live in, with people we should be spending more time with but can’t because we need to go to work to be able to afford the house and the car and the clothes and the holiday…It’s quite depressing. Especially if you don’t do something you like. Really, everyone deserves to do something they love and live life to their fullest potential. Of course, you don’t need to tell me that, such a utopian world does not exist.
I envy those that truly love what they do, day in, day out, whose job is more like a hobby than a job that brings home the bacon. It’s not jealous envy. I am truly happy for those people. It’s the kind of dreamy, wishful thinking and hoping that, one day, all that hard work will pay off and I will do my dream job, too. Put aside all that though, there is something I want most of all, and, since sticking it, aged 14, on my bedroom wall, I have never forgot the small cutting from a magazine:
When I grow up I want to be myself.
Listen to this! How magic are those words? How much comfort and truth is in this sentence? Isn’t this the real goal we should all strive for? When I grow up I want to be myself.
As I grow older and more comfortable within my own skin, I find this statement more and more inspirational and comforting at the same time. Not because it is an excuse to settle for just who you are. No. Because it is, in my humble opinion, the key to finding out what you’ve always wanted to do. If you are truly yourself, you’ll work out what you want to be: yourself. Your dream job will follow.