When I Grow Up

Do you remember who you wanted to be when you grew up? It probably changed over the years. But can you remember back to your first dream surrounding the “when I grow up” fantasy? I do.

When I was very, very young I wanted to be a doctor. Even when I’d play war games in the woods by my house (hey, I’m a military brat…what did you expect?), I dreamed that I’d be a doctor and save the world. Once I started school I decided I wanted to be a surgeon…and not just any surgeon. I wanted to be a neurosurgeon. Yes, even at a young age, my dreams were pretty specific. I should’ve known better, though, because my favorite game to play wasn’t doctor. It was Library. In fact, I made check out cards for all my books and made my sister play with me. I even tried charging her late fees, though mom put a stop to that. The other give away should’ve been that I entertained my sister and brothers…and half the neighborhood with my stories and save the world adventures. And when we weren’t doing that, we were acting out fairytales I’d concocted or superhero stories. (I was always Wonder Woman).

Looking back, I think the thrill of it for me was in being able to help someone, to make a difference…to save a life. (It would also explain my whole military surgeon save the world dreams I used to have) I remember being in Jr. High and being so sure that’s what I’d be. But you know what memory most stood out to me? That in 8th grade, one of the local high schools had a little writer’s workshop for potential writers for their literary magazine. Our English teacher was told to select one of her most promising students to attend, as were all the incoming Jr. Highs. There would be a total of 10-15 8th graders. I was her choice.

Still, I was stubborn. I was going to be a neurosurgeon when I grew up.

High school came along. I’d transferred to a different school and moved into a different neighborhood. I was excited when we got to biology because it meant we were going to get the opportunity to dissect something more than earthworms. Unfortunately this was also when my dream died it’s quick, painless death. The time came to dissect. As many of you know from one of my prior posts, dissecting a frog could potentially be a huge problem for me. Thankfully, I was allowed to arm myself with surgical gloves and did okay. The problem? I was bored to death after the first day. I suddenly dreamed of lawsuits based on my OR behavior. I can still see it in my head:

Me: (finishing the first incision) Ok, here, grab the scalpel. You take over.
Surgical Intern: (hands shaking) Am I ready for this?
Me: Sure! You’ll be fine. I’ll see you later.
Surgical Intern: You’re leaving?
Me: Yeah…I’m bored.

Can you SEE where this would be a problem? Yeah…Lawsuits would abound…assuming I even passed medical school.

So there I was, in my early high school career…and already I’d lost my lifelong dream. It was back to the drawing board. I thought about what I liked to do. I talked to my mom and some of my close friends. Mom wanted me to be a journalist…for a local newspaper. Sadly, as exciting as that career would be…it did not sound exciting at all to me. I wasn’t that into current events. My passion was in the past…history.

When a mother and daughter don’t agree on something what usually happens? Yup! We argued. She thought that kind of career would be respectable and safe. (Of course there wasn’t much about journalists being held hostage back then) I argued that it wasn’t “me” and that I’d get bored, much like I had dissecting that frog. She threw up her arms and told me I’d debate anything….and sarcastically said, “maybe you should be a lawyer!”

Boy, did that idea appeal to me. And even as it did, I won my first writing contest. My poem had been chosen as the winner of our “Write the lyrics to our school song” contest. (Our school had been open for 75 years, and hadn’t had a school song) I won a check for $35 and my words were, in fact, turned into our school song by a local composer. He later asked me if I had any Christian poems that I would be interested in sharing that he could maybe convert into hymns. I also had 3 of my poems published in the local paper.

Now I look back and laugh a bit. My destiny should’ve been obvious. Everyone else recognized it while I blindly chased other things… But I’ve wised up. 🙂 I’ve finally figured out what I’m going to do when I grow up…

What about you? How did your dreams evolve? Have you finally figured out what you’re going to do when you grow up?

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45 thoughts on “When I Grow Up

  1. Jessi Gage says:

    Cool story, Kitt. I wanted to be a doctor too, but got freaked out by all the required schooling. I thought, maybe I could be a pathologist–surely you didn’t have to go to school as long to operate on dead people. Nope. I was wrong. Same amount of schooling.

    I’m still figuring it out, but am happy to be a romance writer for the time being. Whatever else I do, that will be something I do forever. I love it.

  2. prewitt1970 says:

    It’s funny you should ask at this juncture, 42 going on 25. I’ve painted since I was little like 5-6 and had my first poem published when I was in the 3rd grade second when I was 24. I didn’t pay much attention to the ppl flocking around the art when I was 18-25,6,7 I enjoyed the money and some of the party’s. but I came from a very poor family(whole different story) so I was taught at a young age to work and be very good at it. So I did and was quickly rising through the ranks of many a company regional ops manager, vp marketing an so forth, but always kept a journal and a sketchbook close, easle tucked away just in case I’d ever have time again, six figures two kids and what feels like a life time later, I’m back on track and that’s the very short version of the poetish painter, Benjamin.

  3. My Ox is a Moron says:

    This is a thought provoking post. The life long dilema of what I want to be is something we discuss in our family all the time.

    In my family we are not an adult until we are 40 and then only for a year. After that we can return to our childhood. This doesn’t mean we are irresponsible. We have corporate executives, marketing professionals, business owners, IT professionals, writers, etc. I’ve been a full time mom, a paralegal, an automation specialist, writer and business owner. I’m a grandmother and I am on my 5th “what do I want to be when I grow up.” I am returning to writing, but I’m also creating patterns for crocheters. Life is a journey, not a destination, so enjoy the ride and make the most of it.

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      I think that’s an awesome answer. (I turn 40 soon, so I’m really enjoying the whole only having to be grown up for a year idea). I think you’re right…as you experience more of life you evolve… Thanks!

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      So there’s nothing you’ve discovered along the way that you’d like to try your hand at? Personally, I hope to always have dreams and goals… it’s part of what keeps me growing and stretching myself. 🙂

  4. Mae Clair says:

    I’ve always only wanted to be one thing since I was in grade school – – a writer. As I got older, I toyed with the idea of being an EMT. I’ve also llways oved science and history so I debated about branching into one of those fields. Through it all though the dream of writing never went away. Strange how things work out.

  5. moviewriternyu says:

    When people ask me why I don’t drink coffee, I tell them it’s because I’m afraid to stunt my growth as I want to be a basketball player when I grow up. Still holding on to that dream… 😀

  6. L.J. Kentowski says:

    I think I went from teacher to actress, and finally to FBI profiler when I hit high school. I went on to college and double majored in Criminology and Psychology, took the FBI exam, passed, and then married a man that couldn’t travel like was required for the FBI. So, that dream was buried and I worked to support my family before my love of reading turned into a written word for me. I’ve accomplished part of what I want, I just hope I don’t have to bury my full-time author dream so I’ll keep working at it. 🙂 Great post Kitt. I can’t imagine you NOT being a great writer and author!

  7. rommel says:

    Great personal article. What are you now? That’s if you don’t me asking. I really think you should had pursued writing. 😀 I mean, the accomplishments. But I guess everything is, and looks, easier when we were young-er. I, too, dreamt about being a doctor. I am nowhere interested in looking inside a person’s organs. Yikes! I dream of being a teacher. I accomplished it quite a bit for 8 months being an instructor of what I do. Surprise, surprise, I do not like what I do now. But it pays the bill ….. and my trips. Hehehehe

  8. filbio says:

    I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up! I’m still a kid at heart and have experienced a bunch of careers – personal trainer, bartender, male dancer, business owner, and now advertising ad rep which is my profession that I am pretty good at.

    When I was younger I did not really want to be anything other than a kid. Now I still want to be a kid!

  9. ramblingsfromamum says:

    Hmm I am grown up and I wish to have some of my poetry or works published (ok so that’s everybody’s dream) apart from that to be a Grandmother – when my girls get around to it! Making sure I have enough to retire on without skimping…though as long as I have a computer that will keep me very happy 🙂 xx

  10. Audrey says:

    Funny how that works out with everyone around us seeing what takes us years to figure out. 🙂 It’s been the same way for me. I wanted to be a veterinarian (couldn’t stand the sight of blood), a jockey (grew to just over 5 feet), and an archeologist (thanks for nothing, Indiana Jones). Now the dream is a mixed bag of travel, writing, and humanitarian aid work. 🙂

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      That’s a really awesome hodgepodge dream. I have always loved traveling…probably because of how I grew up. I wish you all the best as you pursue such awesome & worthwhile endeavors.

  11. Ray Colon says:

    Hi Kitt,

    I was nine when we landed on the moon, so as a child I was sure that I would grow up to be an astronaut. I loved all things Apollo, from my space capsule models, to books on space travel, to clipped newspaper articles. I don’t remember when it happened, but at some point a mean relative spouted, “You can’t be an astronaut. You wear glasses.” Of course, this was pre-Google, so I believed him. I was crushed.

    I’ve written many posts on the various directions of my journey since then, but I still haven’t found that perfect thing which would allow me to say, “This is what I want to do when I grow up!” But I know that it’s out there, waiting to be discovered.

  12. Charron's Chatter says:

    I always wanted to be a writer, oddly enough. My aunt sent in a poem of mine to Cricket Magazine when I was 8 years old, and from then on I was the writer of the family. I kept journals and what have you, but did not begin to pursue it in earnest until about 8, sentence filled years ago. With a short story pub pending, and my manuscript urban fantasy yet in query stage, it’s a long and unrewarding road at times, but when that connection is made–and idea birthed, shared, understood & appreciated–it’s magic!

    Great, thought-provoking post as ever, Kitt. 🙂

  13. Christy Birmingham says:

    I am glad you are pursuing your writing! As a child I wanted to be a writer and then got steered off the path for ‘safer’ choices money-wise. Now I see there is so much more to life than money! Great post and nice to learn more about you xx

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Thanks! I’m glad you liked it! As for those people who steered you off the path…I’m sure they thought they were just looking out for you, but you’re right…there is so much more to life than writing.

  14. wordsurfer says:

    When I was really young, I wanted to be a teacher – but that’s because I come from a teaching family. Then I wanted to be part 19th-century-explorer and part photojournalist for National Geographic (or something similar). Funnily enough, my classmates agreed more or less when they had to write in which job they saw me in the future (for our ‘yearbook’) – all the suggestions said I’d be living somewhere exotic and doing something rather less-than-normal (… breeding colourful tropical fish was one, rather strange, suggestion). … It’s so boring to be living at home with nothing “real” to do at the moment.

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