I am sure that if any of you have other social media platforms that you have probably seen some of the posts saying something along the lines of “If you succeeded in what you wanted to be when you grew up, what would you be?” Typically the responses are police officer, scientist or astronaut.
These are fun posts as it shows the optimism of a young child when they have the world ahead of them. However, I don’t recall having a childhood dream. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up.
There are a few factors that I am trying to draw from for why that might be.
The first being that my dad was a Commercial Fisherman who was never home. He was one of those big shot skippers who ran a huge boat most of my childhood. Whenever he was home I was so happy but it was fleeting due to the demands of the job.
The fishing industry relies heavily on when certain seasons open. For example, every damn year crabbing season is delayed due to the crabs not having enough meat content or too acidic. It’s a strange time. The industry is also heavily reliant on the weather.
This is the biggest factor because certain conditions can render it to unsafe for smaller boats to go out. This is typically why they all travel together. Every fisherman in a town knows each other.
This gives the larger boats an advantage as they are equipped for long-term ocean excursions that the smaller boats are not. To stop it there, the fishing industry is slowly dying and it breaks my heart that my father is struggling as much as he is to even catch a damn salmon.
So to my next point, my mom didn’t really work – like at all. With my dad being gone all the time, my mom was always home. I am grateful she was but there is a lot more to that than I care to delve into right now.
Without a steady working influence in my life, I had no idea what sounded like my passion as a young child.
I am trying really hard to think of a time when I was actually asked what I wanted to be by an adult. It feels like such a hazy memory that I am not sure if it is even mine or one I am pulling from something I have seen somewhere. I am that disconnected from it.
What I think I remember is a group of young kids all sitting criss-crossed and what not around an adult who came into the classroom as a guest. I think this said adult went around asking the question and I swear to god everyone had an answer. When it finally was my turn I was so preoccupied in listening to the other children’s dreams that I realized I didn’t have one.
How could I not have a dream? How could I not have some fantasy of growing up and saving the world?
I just wanted to grow up
What’s wild to me is the fact that I truly didn’t know what I wanted to do even when it was time for college. My broken childhood just led me on a path to do something – anything.
I pursued a business degree because I loved working and helping others. To me this promised a fulfilling career. I tweaked it a bit to emphasize on HR and Management with an International focus by the end. Sounds pretty good on paper, yet here I am still lost.
I wouldn’t say I am entirely lost but it is really hard right now as I am trying to launch my career in a time with so many struggling day-to-day to put food on the table. I feel selfish as I have a stable job but I hate it.
I would ultimately love to do business or career consulting while dabbling in non profit work. Maybe even write a book, who the hell knows? Why is there a stigma that we need to know exactly what we want to do the minute we come out of the womb?
All I’ve got to say is that parents should listen to their children’s interests and passions and be present in them. If they want to be an astronomer hell get them a telescope and constellation book. Let them discover what truly interests them, don’t ignore it as those years as so vital to building the foundation of who they are.
I wish I could’ve explored more passions and had the support to know I could if I wanted to. However, I don’t at the same time because I wouldn’t be who I am today or be here writing this.
If you feel that you don’t know what it is you want to do with your life, don’t be afraid to fail and try again. We are only in this body once and it is important that we do not spend our time here wishing for something else.