Nov 10, 2009

Princesses, Twists and Growing Up

An old friend commented on my first Blog Entry and his comment jarred my memory. He made me think of a piece I wrote while I was frustrated in law school. I referenced writing as an avenue I exercised to vent my frustration last year, so it’s only fair I show an example of what I was talking about.

The piece I’ve posting below is about the haunting age-old question of “What do you want to be when we grow up?” I think that most people have struggled with the pressure of this question at some point in their lives- even if it is just in retrospect. My struggle with this question proved to be the catalyst for my self-exploration.

My first Blog was written in a “Straight Up” style. This blog entry is an example of what I call “With a Twist”- enjoy! :)

What do you want to be when you grow up?

“What do you want to be when you grow up”…it seems easy enough. Prima facie, it appears to be a very nonchalant question that falls in line with; “What’s your favorite color” or “Where is your favorite place to go on vacation”. But don’t be fooled, it’s really a loaded question…one that I thought I could answer at many times in my life.

When I was five I wanted to be a princess and as the years progressed on, so did my answer….sign language teacher, geologist, meteorologist, dancer (that one had sticking power), writer, journalist, lawyer, professional traveler (is that even a real job?)

But here I sit at 24years old. Having four years of college, a Bachelors degree, life experience studying in Rome Italy and Washington DC; Work experience interning and being trapped in a cubical; One year of law school under my belt and I am currently in graduate school! At this point you would think I would have some more direction- but ya know what….I have no solid idea about what I really want to be when I grow up.

In fact the thought of answering that question gives me a rush of unwelcome anxiety. I thought I knew what I wanted to be, but that was when life’s problems were getting a ride to an after school dance, or whether it was going to rain on Saturday because I had plans to be outside. The problems weren’t student loans, living expenses, relationships, credit cards, health issues, insurance, car payments and allocation of time spent at work.

So, I’ve decided that I hate that question. I wish with all the tests and quizzes I’ve taken over the years that I could just answer a few multiple choice questions (courtesy of a Scantron Sheet) and an instant result would tell me what I should “be.”

When your whole life is mapped out according to semesters of schooling, sports seasons and holiday schedules- its difficult to forget the planning and accept the mantra of “figure it out as you go.” The truth is that it’s much easier to work toward something when you know where you’re going. The unknown is the scary part. The unknown is what you are forced to face when you finally forgo the idea of remaining a “Toy’s R Us” kid. The unknown is stuff that leaves you uneasy.

This is what I do know……
I want to be happy, I want to travel, I want to make a lot of money (and if not a lot then ENOUGH) I want to fall in love (real love, across an ocean and everlasting love) I want to be a mother and have children and I want to be a good person. I want luck, success, comfort and security. I want to make a difference, I want people to be proud of me, and most I want to be proud of myself.

Looking over this list, I feel like I’ve covered all the major bases. Sadly however, this list is not a job description, a career, a plan, a mission or even a passion… As I sit and look over this list, I’ve realized that I’ve come full circle. This list may be most compatible with my five year old evaluation- so maybe it would be best if could just put an application out to be a Princess. Does anyone know if they are hiring?


Growing up is hard. Figuring out yourself, your purpose and your path is even harder. I think the secret to being happy and fulfilled is a balance. Maybe we are supposed to juggle the balance between holding onto our five-year old perceptions of what is important in life and balance it alongside our newly developed and mature ideas of passion, dreams, intellect and purpose.


"Nothing in life, that is worth anyhing, comes easy" -Unknown

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