All Grown Up and No Place to Go?

When I posed this week’s challenge, I had no idea what the rest of my week would be like. With a husband in and out of the hospital not once but twice in the same week, I have truly tested my “grown-up” status. I might not have agreed with it when this first challenge was hatched last weekend for a Monday proposal but now? Hell, I do believe I’m about as grown up as they come.

But the nature of the question I posed was really focused on professionally speaking and the neverending question we’re asked as a kid…”so little boy/girl <insert appropriate pronoun here>, what do YOU want to be when you grow up?”

This week’s Kuhnspiration specifically asked you just how you answered that question – when you were 9, 19 and now! Already one subscriber has chimed in with her thoughts in the comments of my last blog, and I’m here to share mine. I hope that you too will take a few moments to think about this for yourself, whether you share them here with me and other readers, or not. It’s good sometimes to take an assessment and stop ourselves in our tracks to make certain we’re not going through the motions of fulfilling a dream from when we were kids that no longer inspires us. Consider it not-so-random snapshots of our past, our present and our future.

Sometimes dreams or routes to those dreams can change but perhaps the end goal is still the same. If that’s the case, this is a good opportunity to realize that and figure out how you can tweak the path to that same desired goal. If you really do want something else completely different but you’re still striving for that same goal of the past, you need to ask yourself: how do I get myself into the right vehicle and pathway to head in the direction that’s right for me NOW?

As for me…

At 9, I was already the product of my realistic dad. I had a goal for the public to know that was practical and logical, and knew best it was good to keep my “dream” job to myself. I announced to those who met me that I wanted to be either a psychologist or Barbara Walters. Secretly, however, I knew that I was destined for fame as either an actress or singer. I of course kept this fantasy job to myself. No real person made a living doing that.

When I was 19, I had gone through my phase in high school of wanting to be a print journalist but by the time I left community college for my eventual alma mater Florida State University, I discovered that radio and TV offered me awesome opportunities to do a little of that “performing” I loved so much. I had been thrilled with drama in high school, still had that secret dream of entertaining others yet had grown genuine affection for newswriting. I also loved to experiment with my voice – dialects and tones – and after taking a Children’s Literature Performance class in the FSU communications program, I got a job volunteering as a news writer/announcer at the station’s on-campus station, V89.  Once I accepted the harsh reality that I didn’t have the right look for TV, I knew it wasn’t the medium for me.

So radio. I was going into radio. Abso-friggin-lutely.

Then, I graduated. In spring 1992. And while it didn’t resemble the recent economy, let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty…certainly not in the field I was seeking employment.

I didn’t end up in radio. I ended up behind an evening switchboard for a horrible proprietary college making peanuts and realizing that reality didn’t quite match my dream clouds that had poofed from my creative, clearly idealistic mind.

Fast-forward to today…

I made the best of it. I realized that while “performing” in some capacity might not be in the cards, I still loved writing and there were plenty of ways I could do that in the corporate world. It took about 5 years but eventually, I landed in the marketing communications field, which is certainly a great place to be if you strive for the media and can’t quite get there. The practice I had in learning how to sculpt persuasive, clear language – appealing to specific audiences – describing and pulling out the most important facts/benefits about a product – promoting and marketing, etc., all of these skills really helped me tremendously when I eventually landed in the marketing department of a metropolitan newspaper.

And you know the adage about being in the right place at the right time? Well, first you have to GET to the right place. And by at least stepping through the doors at a local paper, albeit for a brief stay compared with many of my friends and colleagues still there or since let go like myself, just being in that “right place” allowed me to segue to writing feature stories, profiles and other content for local print and electronic publications, because in my case, I could actually string a few sentences together and deliver something you might want to read.

So what do I want to be when I grow up…NOW? I make no secret that I want to be a weekly online or print columnist and an author – both fiction and non-fiction. Am I there yet? Nope. But once again, I think I’m in the right place at perhaps not quite the right time.

But I’m learning how to be patient….more and more patient…every day. Personally speaking, this week truly tried that patience. If I can get through this, I can get through anything, and there is nothing-NOTHING- (hear that universe!) professionally that’s going to throw me off course if I’m determined to get there.

Nothing.

Are you ready to come to terms with what you wanted to be and what you  have become? Let’s hear from you now. We can handle it, truth and all. Can you? I’ve got faith in ya.

Cheers to finding that daily spark in your life!
Chris

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1 Comment

  1. I wanted to be an astronaut, but life had other plans for me. Then, I wanted to make my grandfather proud of me by following him into the legal profession. I double majored in political science and history. I took my LSAT and I made plans to go to Tulane Law School to get my J.D. and Master’s in Environmental Public Health. However, I wanted to pay off some of my student loans before getting new debt. Again, life had other plans for me…I became a caregiver and legal guardian to my teenaged sister following college. I do not regret what I did. I may never have met my husband had I not taken those years off from school. I took an administrative job with the IAFF Local 1664…the fire fighter’s union where my husband served as a District Representative on the Executive Board. Stu is my rock and strength. I went on to become a Property and Casualty Insurance Agent and Account Executive before retiring on disability…I would like to become a writer when things settle down a bit.


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