Lately, the kids and I have been talking a lot about school and why they go. It’s usually started by a complaint from one of them on the way there. And by complaint, I’m talking screaming, kicking, and tears. Usual kid stuff, right?…. Right?
They ask me why they have to go, tell me they’d rather stay home- and then I remind them that they can’t stay home because mama and daddy have to go to work and make money, honey. Most times they get it because they remember that money (or when Har was little he called it fucking mundy 😂) is what we use to buy treats, toys, food, clothes, a roof to live under…
I’ve been trying to explain to them that they have to go to school so that when they grow up, they can be whatever they want to be. They’ll then start to ramble off all of the rad professions that interest them- firefighter, animal doctor, paleontologist, police officer. It’s exciting to hear them dream about their futures and I hope that John and I can support them to find what truly fits them and brings joy and fulfillment. So we discuss that when they get a little older, they get to choose classes based on their interests. And until then, if they want to learn more about a profession, we will find a way for them to meet someone face to face and they can ask all of the questions they can come up with.
It’s funny, as far as I can remember, I never really concerned myself with these thoughts as a kid. I mean, ok- yeah, I had wanted to be a singing veterinarian for a while, and then a Fly Girl on In Living Color or a member of Wilson Phillips, and then a stand up comedian… And obviously, those things take a certain level of dedication and talent- that I totally lacked and they ultimately didn’t work out. But wouldn’t it had been cool if they did? And then after elementary school, I don’t really remember dreaming about what I wanted to ‘be’.
Fast forward lots of years, I graduated college with a BA in Applied Design and a minor in Sociology and a total lack of drive to do anything with them. Then my quarter life crisis hit hard and lasted too long- I felt I was continuously searching for my purpose and who I wanted to be as a ‘grown up’.
About 8 years after graduation, John and I got married and had our first baby. To be totally honest- and I have probably said this before somewhere on these interwebs- I never thought I wanted to get married or have kids- but of course the universe had different plans and these things turned out to be some of the most spectacular pieces to my life’s story and have since helped to mold me into a person that I am proud to be.
Really, every happy, sad and difficult moment and life experience has helped create my reality and I am truly thankful for them all. No matter how fucking shitball-terrible they felt (and sometimes continue to feel) in the moment(s).
So when Har asked me this morning what I want to be when I grow up, a smile filled my face as I responded with “well babe, I am already what I want to be.” I told him how when I go to work during the day, I get to work in an office filled with people who are helping others find affordable living situations. When I leave at nighttime and on the weekends, I am helping people heal themselves through yoga, meditation, reiki, and other energy aspects. And when I am with them and John, I am a wife and mom to the most special people.
Motherhood and wifehood (is that a thing? Wifehood? It should be. It is now) are by far my most difficult roles- mostly because I never get to ‘clock out’… but they are also the most rewarding, fulfilling, and important roles for me. The universe blessed me with a supportive and loving husband who puts up with all my crazy, lack of patience and focus, and intense mood swings. My children have made me realize what I am capable of, how much I can love, and continue to teach me about the world around us, about other beings, and about myself.
So, to me, the question of ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ isn’t just limited to a profession. I think it includes the person you want to be too. And I want to be a kind and loving person. A supportive family member, friend, human.
Life is a process, a journey, a chapter book… or how ever the heck you choose to refer to it. Where I am in this part of my story, I am happy. I am who I want to be and with the people I want to be with. All while remembering that it’s an ongoing process and we are all forever evolving.
So, what do you want to be when you ‘grow up’?