This I Believe

Sarah - Draper, Utah
Entered on August 3, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: courage, setbacks
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This I Believe

What do you want to be when you grow-up? When are we really grown up? I believe we should never have to be “grown-up,” and that we should always embrace our freedom to change.

We have all heard it sometime during our childhood. “What do you want to be when you grow-up?” I always envied those friends of mine who actually had an answer to this question. It amazed me that they really knew how they wanted to spend their lives. Whenever asked this question I always felt a knot in my throat. The pressure was like a jackhammer in my soul. What do you want to be! What do you want to be! There was no one subject in school that lit a fire for me. Struggling with undiagnosed attention deficit didn’t help in the academic realm. School was a daily dose of sweaty palms and a nervous stomach.

During my teen years one day I was sitting in the chair at the hair salon, liking the soothing sound of the blow-driers, I decided I would become a stylist. Whew! The pressure was off. So I graduated high school within inches and went straight to beauty school. With a limited passion for the trade I was always thinking in the back of my mind, this will do until I figure out what I want to be when I grow-up.

Over the next 19 years I would “try on” a varied list of careers: Truss plant office clerk, truss designer, display fireworks technician, hair salon manager, executive administrative assistant, insurance sales, and most importantly a stay at home mother. Still always asking myself the question, “What should I be when I grow-up?”

Gertrude Stein said, “Midlife is when you finally get there only to discover there is no there.” After a three year battle with depression; and feeling like an incomplete person, working as a hair salon manager, remember this was only to be a stepping stone 19 years ago. I put my ego aside, took out a student loan, and enrolled in the local community college. With the help and direction of my psychology professor and life coach, who coincidently began her career after the age of forty, and holds a PhD; I am half way to my bachelors and plan to achieve a master’s in guidance and counseling for adolescents.

I no longer feel like a failure because of the numerous occupations I have explored. I will take that valuable experience with me to guide young people into their futures. I want to help them understand that they don’t have to worry so much about, “what will I be when I grow up?” That it is ok to explore and change. I am an example that there is no such place or time when you have to be “grown-up.”