When you are 5: When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut. A fireman. A police officer. A ninja turtle. A G.I. Joe. A fairy princess. A prince. Rich. Famous. Powerful.
When you are 15: When I grow up, I want to be a teacher. A soldier. A college student. An executive. A doctor. A Lawyer. Rich.
When you are 25: When I grow up, I want to be happy. Successful. Rich. A mother. A father. A business owner. My own boss.
It’s funny how dreams and goals change as we get older. They become less fanciful, more practical. And I guess that makes sense. As we get older, we have a better grasp on how things work, on how the world really plays out, and it’s less a matter of being jaded, more a matter of being realistic. Pragmatic. And that’s a good thing, for sure. I mean, not everyone can be an astronaut or a fairy princess.
I guess I’ve just found myself thinking a lot lately about dreams and goals, and how to make them happen. It struck me as funny today how drastically different they are today than they were 5 years ago. 10 years ago. 20 years ago. Today, it’s graduate school, and a PhD, some day teaching as a professor. At some future date, I would also like to open a restaurant, or at least have a giant kitchen where I can cook lots of food for friends and family.
I once had dreams of being an engineer. Of developing weapons. Making things that protect some people and kill others. I don’t now know why I was so interested in that field, but that’s what I wanted to do. R&D development for GE. Now, I can’t even imagine doing that job. I realized that engineering would drive me nuts, and as for the weapons part, I cannot imagine myself building machines made to kill people. But that was the plan. The goal. The dream.
Now, I’d prefer to trade the lab coat for tweed, the calipers for a pen, and a lathe for a poem. And I’m okay with that.
What were some of your old dreams or goals that have now changed to better fit who you’ve become?