What do you want to be when you grow up?

A group I volunteer with recently met with an attorney (long story).  He told us that when working for groups such as ours, he discounted his hourly rate from $240 to $150.  Wow, I thought, look like I chose the wrong profession. But then I contemplated spending my days mired in real estate law.  Did that sound enjoyable to me?  No.

My mind wandered to how people decide their answer to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  Do some teens out there just wake up one day and think, I would enjoy formulating medicines and studying how they interact, or I think it would be fascinating to study how I could manipulate numbers in various different ways in order to make a business’s statistics look good?

Because those things just don’t interest me.  And perhaps that was my problem all along.  In high school, I knew I needed to decide “what to be when I grew up”.  My mom hadn’t gone to college and my dad had rather a defeated attitude about the whole thing (“just don’t be a stupid teacher like me!”).

A math teacher encouraged me to go into math.  Hmmmm … well, I do well in math, but it just doesn’t excite me.  I see some kids who LOVE math and are just fascinated by it, but I’m … not. My piano teacher urged me to major in music.  Even I could see, though, that that was a one-way ticket to hard work and poverty.

As a Christian, there was also the rather large consideration of God’s Will.  Choosing a career was surely one of those big-ticket items where God’s opinion was of utmost importance, and I prayed fervently for guidance.  Surely, since I wanted to follow Christ so much, I would have my own little burning-bush-moment, or preferably a wondrously-delivered slip of paper with a career written down for me.  But alas, my prayers resulted in – nothing.  I became, of necessity, a believer in the “if you pray for God’s will and live your life in a way that pleases Him, surely He won’t let you screw up too badly” school of thought.

So, off to college I went, and I changed my major approximately bi-monthly.  When graduation came, my final major was fashion merchandising – I kid you not, borne I suppose of a brief period of interest in shopping at the mall.  To this day, whenever I say “fashion merchandising”, I can’t escape a visual of Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde, quite the antithesis of me.

My career in fashion lasted nine brief months, which were filled with activities like straightening the panty table.  I quickly saw that this was not the path to fulfillment.

I went back to school and became – you guessed it – a “stupid teacher.”

You know, some days I still wake up and think, Wow, I really need to decide what I want to be when I grow up. And then it strikes me:  I am grown up. The big moment came and went.  And I suppose the devotional book I read last night was right when it said it’s more important WHO you are than WHAT you are.

Still, $150 and hour, huh?  Not bad …

2 thoughts on “What do you want to be when you grow up?

  1. Good, thought provoking post. You’re right that He will not make these decisions for us. We have free will. It’s best to chose a career / mate / place to live / etc. that you enjoy. THEN pray that you live according to God’s will, that we “die daily to sin, be more alive to God” (one of the Apostle Paul’s prayers). He doesn’t care what our occupations, etc. are. He only cares about how we live our lives and interact with each other. That’s when the blessings flow.
    Christian ((Hugs)) :o) ♥ ∞

  2. I could add something on here I read this morning but maybe I’ll save it for my blog. I don’t recall ever asking what I should do but I have heard LOUD and CLEAR sometimes which way to go and none of it made sense at the time. But that’s the best part – trusting – and thankfully I swallowed my pride and went in that direction. I don’t know if it was a career choice but definitely a choice that has shaped my life with interesting career opportunities. Amazing what God will do when you trust Him.

    Fashion merchandising – you are so Elle Woods! 🙂 I loved it!!!

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