Saturday, November 24, 2007

When I Grow Up...

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I was thinking about this the other day when writing about blogging itself (a very recursive activity) and was thinking about all of the things I wanted to be when I "grew up".

My earliest memories of what I wanted to be included a teacher, a writer or a veterinarian. Very normal little girl thoughts. As I grew older, I dropped the writer and teacher, but was still stuck on vet. I even went to a high school in NY where I majored in Agriculture.

Yes, it may seem odd, but in NYC there are specialized high schools: Bronx HS of Science for - surprise! - science; Brooklyn Tech for architecture; John Bowne for agriculture, etc. It didn't matter where in NY you lived, you could apply to any of them and if accepted, travel long distances to get there. I applied to Bronx Sci where I just missed the testing cutoff (I'm horrible at math.), and Brooklyn Tech because I thought being an architect would be cool (Didn't I realize there's a whole lot of math involved in architecture? I blame Mike Brady from the Brady Bunch. Oh, forgot he was an architect, did you?) and was accepted. However, my plan was to be a vet, so I applied to the only agricultural high school in NY and went there. I became an Aggie.

I went traipsing down the path of becoming a large animal vet and held several related jobs over the next few summers. I even came out to Colorado following the same path and majored in Equine Science where I got to do many things related to vet work, including sticking my arm up to my shoulder inside a pregnant cow in winter. Oh yeaaaaah! Unfortunately, I ran out of money and dropped out to get a job (Money was an issue, as well as Luh-uvvvvv entering the picture. Love, you see, is very distracting.) and suddenly got spun off onto another pathway altogether.

I worked as a temp secretary, then an executive secretary, then a trainer for a help desk and finally a project manager. All thoughts of vet school had run out of my head faster than you could say Starting-Salaries-for-Veterinarians-are-only-$35K-per-year?! With The Man flashing cash at me, and a little world travel thrown in, vet school didn't look quite as attractive any more. After several years of that, the tech bubble burst and I noticed I was spending way more time at work than with my husband and daughter and decided to get out of the rat race and try something new.

The new thing was photography (Ooh! You're sooo not surprised!), and then when my eyes started going funny on me and it looked like I was going to have to do something different, I started chatting with a friend of mine about plants.

I have a thing about plants. I'm crazy for them and have been for ages. I blame my mom, she's a plant addict, too. She blames her own mother in return, so I guess you could say it runs in the family. So now? Now I'm a farmer. I find it ironic that I'd gone to an agricultural high school and university and completely skipped over horticulture but am now involved in it professionally.

Nowadays, I wonder if I didn't manage to squeeze Teacher in there when I was a trainer and if I'm not also working on Writer with this blogging thing! You know what, though? I'm still not sure if this is what I want to be when I grow up but I think I'll try it on for awhile. After all, how many people really know what they want to be, pursue it, accomplish it and stick with it for the rest of their life? Very few I'm thinking if my friends and husband (Don't get me started! Four different majors in college!) are any measure.

Oh and somewhere in there I managed to work in Wife and Mother. Crazy! The hours are long and the pay is terrible! but the perks are very nice: smiles, smooches, hugs, teeny tiny hands to hold and plump cheeks to nibble on. It's not bad work if you can get it.

So tell me: What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you reach your goal?


Missy said...

I wanted to be a pediatrician from the time I was a small child up until my first year of college. I took my first college biology class and realized that not only did I not have an aptitude for math and science, I did not enjoy in depth study of either subject. Not so good for one who wants to be a doctor. I was really enjoying my psychology class and decided that I would pursue that route convinced I would get my PhD. Money, Love, and school weariness led me to go for a Masters Degree instead which would allow me to do what I wanted..become a therapist. That is what I do now, and interestingly enough the population I work with is children in the 0-6 age range, and their families of course. Since having kids I have really wanted to be a SAHM or lottery winner. Intereting and thought provoking post!

Swistle said...

I wanted to be a zookeeper. Then I wanted to be a farmer's wife. Yes, "farmer's wife," that was the job title. I was picturing gathering eggs in the apron of my calico dress.

Then I wanted to be an office manager, mostly because the office manager at our school had a pink phone.

Then I wanted to be an English teacher, a political campaign manager, a lawyer, an elementary school teacher, a Latin teacher---basically I wanted to major in whatever class I was taking at the time.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Swistle, you just reminded me of one I'd forgotten - I wanted to be a marine biologist but my fear of water and inability to swim put the kibosh on that one!

Ooh! Missy! Does being a therapist help you understand obnoxious 6 year old behavior? I'm dyin' over heah!

Missy said...

Hmmm..understand the behavior..yes I like to think so. Have patience when my own 6 year old exhibits said behavior.......unfortunately not always. I like to blame that on the fact that I spend my entire day dealing with and or talking about such behaviors, and when I get home I am not so much in the mood to cope. But the truth is even if I was a banker or something I would likely not have any more patience. 6 year olds (ok ALL children) can be annoying and irritating and difficult to deal with.

Red Flashlight said...

I wanted to be a Hollywood movie director, just like Steven Spielberg. I even wrote some scripts.

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