I don’t recall being asked what I want to do when I grow up, or anyone noticing me and what I was good at and connecting that to work.
As a kid, I do remember being asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It always seemed like a costume question – I would imagine dressing up as a lawyer or a banker, that’s what my parents did, so I assumed it’s what I would “be”. (And sometimes I’d imagine dressing up as Wonder Woman or Supergirl because I have always wanted to be a superhero…)
We all know that the basis of this question is “what do you think you want to do for work when you are out of school and have to pay your own way in life?”
I did take an aptitude test as a teenager and that was the first time I got to see what I was good at, naturally. It came with a list of possible careers. So, on the one side, I had the list of things I am naturally gifted at, and on the other, a set of traditional jobs that these gifts were useful in. The problem was they were all traditional jobs, and what nobody spoke about was that I am not traditional, and don’t feel quite like a belong when I try to stifle myself into traditional things. In fact, I’ve always known that to be truly happy I must create the thing(s) I do. I’ve even tried doing that, however, always on a small scale when I know that I must do something much bigger, but, until now, I didn’t allow myself the space or the freedom to contemplate what that was or how to do it.
After spending most of my life wondering “What do I really want to do?” I realize that the purpose of my quest is to determine, “Who Do I Want To Be?” The subtle difference here is that “BE” means be, not do. I believe, now, that what I want to do will come from understanding who I want to be. And this is not a question a career counselor or aptitude test can help me with. So, I plunge into my journey to find the answer!