What did you want to be when you grew up?

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

E.E. Cummings

When I was young, I remember wanting to be an artist; an illustrator of children’s poetry books like those of Jack Prelutsky. I recently asked my mom what she remembered me saying when I was little and she could only recall my wanting to be a TV new reporter when I was in middle school. When I was first starting college, I thought I wanted to be a teacher. One of my roommates was majoring in journalism and loved it, so I decided to take Journalism 101 to see if my childhood news anchor ambitions still held any footing. Broadcast journalism did not, but it turns out, writing and advertising did. (Meeting my future husband, Jim, in class was pretty great, too.)

So far, when I ask Elliot what she wants to be when she grows up, she answers, “ME!” Which I think is truly, the most perfect answer of all. Harper has had an ongoing theme with the medical and transportation fields of work. A pilot. A pilot doctor. An eye doctor. A bus driver. A “train driver”. It will be fun to see what they eventually decide to do when they grow up. Just like my parents, of course I will fully back them in whatever profession, passion, or field of work they choose to pursue. I only hope to give them as much exposure to the world so they can make an educated decision going in.

How did you know? Was it something you always wanted to do? Did it just sort of fall into your lap? Did you have a life changing experience where the answer suddenly became clear?

When Harper asked me this question over the summer, I didn’t have an answer for her. I’m still working on my official response, although I’m starting to think I might not need one. I think my brilliant little Ellie is right on; that all I have to be, that all I want to be, is myself.

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