Thursday, 23 October 2008

What do you want to be

... when you grow up? I read an article recently which asked this question of children and  teenagers from different backgrounds, countries and cultures. It was very interesting and revealing, as the children had either very little or were privileged by way of circumstance or example. It was enriching to hear they all had aspirations and dreams, way beyond their existing horizons.

But the question kept resounding with me and I kept asking myself … 'What do I want to be when I grow up?'

Yes! I know I am grown up already, in age and definitely in experience and  perhaps in some wisdom too!I have been single. I have lived alone in dreary and lonely bedsit land. I have spent Christmas alone twice and new years eve too often to count. I have been lucky enough to travel and live in different countries in three continents, experiencing different cultures.

I have had several careers. I am a qualified hairdresser - 1970s; I am an experienced fashion  buyer, Manager and Area Manager - 1980's; I have worked in the Voluntary sector as an area development manager and I am a qualified Bookseller & Buyer with Diploma- 1990’s. I am long-time married and I have given birth to and raised two children.  The jury is out on ‘successful’. I can only hope it will be said I was a good mum, wife, daughter. 

Why does this question still resonate with me? Perhaps because I know in my mind and believe in my heart that it's never too late. I may sound like a glass half empty type of girl most of the time. But I strongly believe in Hope, that hope is actually more important than love, in that if one hasn’t love, doesn't love, one can hope. Without hope, I truly believe one is lost. So I can 

hope and I can aspire to do more, to travel, to run my own shop, to have a spare room as a library and have a beach hut or vintage trailer in the back just for me.  I study with the Open University to stretch my mind, teach and inform me so I want to continue pursuing this. When I grow up I may earn a degree or two just for me.To be trivial for a moment, when I grow up I 

would like to have the style of Paloma Picasso, the panache of Vivienne Westwood and be dressed by Chanel by day and Valentino by night; I would love to be as eloquent and passionate about art as Brian Sewell or Simon Scahma.

I've done my share of growing up, I am a grown up and allowing for the fact that one needs to make a living, do I want to do more things and have more things to do?  Or do I want to be someone or something more? Do I want to ‘be’ anything again? There is so much yet to do, to learn, to see and to say.  And as I don’t know how big a bottle I am drinking from, I can still keep drinking as I do not know when it will run out. I think it crucial to say the things that are important in that moment. 

I still have a lot of growing up to do. I hope when I grow up I won't be saying I would’ve, could’ve, should’ve. I hope I will be saying I will, I can, I shall and I’m going to start that right now…

... what do you want to be?


  1. Oh, as you know, I've been accepted to grad school to go on to my next career. I am all about getting the very most you can get out of life. For me, that doesn't mean base jumping or skydiving. It means savoring every moment, every day. That's what makes a successful life, in my humble opinion. And you? My friend, you are a success.

    Peace - D

  2. I don't know. My life coach (sister-in-law) asked me what the job listings I gravitated toward the most were when I wasted time on Craigslist (how did she know I wasted time on Craigslist?) and it was always the writing gigs. I want to be a good writer. I'd like to do art on the side and be moderately successful with that sort of thing, but writing is something I could do every day for hours and not get sick of, because it's something I can't do without.
    Or maybe I could go back to decorating cakes. ;)

  3. Not sure what I want to be but I definatly do want to be lots more things before I depart!!

  4. You are so right, it is never too late. My mum changed careers at 50 and has never looked back! I might become a freelance photographer, I just need to get the hang of this camera .............

  5. This was the debate I wanted to open up with my post: When I grow up I'll be...and I have thought quite a bit about it. Did I mean I wanted to be FAMOUS? Or did I mean I wanted to be SATISFIED? Do I think it is enough to be LOVED? Isn't it enough to have gone through life without doing any harm?

    I have come to the conclusion that there is a difference between ambition, and aspirations. And what I want is to be REMEMBERED WITH LOVE.

  6. I'm one of the content ones. I'm mostly happy where I am. Sure, I'd like a bit more money, maybe a small bit of fame, but overall? Happy.

    I wrote a few pieces concerning this subject. If you have time and nothing better to do...

    (Moannie seemed to like them.)

  7. about food for thought. Living in the US, there are a lot of people who go back to college and change careers completely.
    When I was 29 I saw an academic palm reader in New Orleans. He said a lot of things that were true about me, and also said that I wouldn't end up doing what i was doing professionally at that time. He said I hadn't hit my stride, and he was write. At 43 I had a book published. Now all I have to do is follow it up...

  8. I've thought about it now and one of the things I want to be is naughty!!! I was such a good and well behaved child!! ;)

  9. I like what suburbia just said! lol I was always the "good girl" and did what was expected of me - go to university, become a teacher, marry, have children. Well, none of that exists anymore except that I still have my children albeit grown up and on their own and I just tutor a few kids on the side now. But gee what DO I want to be when I grow up? Hmmmm...because as everyone knows we're never "all grown up." If I were to start all over, I'd like to be a writer and a photographer. So there! ;)

  10. more...always more.

    I'm right there with you. The moment you stop wanting to grow up, to change - well that's the moment that death moves in or something else even more sinister.

  11. Well, I'm hoping I never do grow up, not completely, especially if it means becoming an old fuddy-duddy. But I have had the dream of being a published writer all my life. And I am! Self-published! On my blog! Better than nothing, I guess.


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Take the weight of your feet, draw up a chair and pour yourself a cuppa. Leave your troubles at the door and together we shall ride out the storms.
I will walk a while in your shoes...

Saz x