Friday, March 14, 2008

Jobs and what to do with the rest of one's life

Jobs. I feel like that is the root of all quarterlifer's issues. Jobs and money. Which is basically the same thing. In order to figure out what I should be doing with the rest of my life, I've looked back at what I said I was going to be "when I grow up."

6 years old - after a relaxing visit to the dentist's office, I held my new cheap plastic toy from the dentist and declared that I was going to become a dentist, "so that I could buy lots of toys."
Lesson learned: I wanted to be successful. And make sure people could smile.

10 years old - the nice car salesperson bought me a soda and kept me entertained while my parents were purchasing a new van. Though I cried over losing our old van, I told my parents I was going to be a car salesperson when I grew up. They seemed to be the nicest people in the world. My parents laughed and told me that was the worst possible job I could get.
Lesson learned: I wanted to be nice and helpful and I didn't know the difference between nice and fake.

Fourth grade - I wrote a story that moved my teacher. This teacher told my parents. My parents told me I was going to be a famous author when I grew up. I was okay with that. I decided to become a famous author.
Lesson learned: I can write, but not necessarily better than a 4th grader.

Sixth grade - I carried my little purple plastic camera with me everywhere, and documented my middle school experiences. Unfortunately, I don't have many of those pictures left, because everyone always wanted a copy.
Lesson learned: I take a lot of pictures, I enjoy taking pictures, and I don't know how to make money taking pictures.

High school - I was more concerned with what college to go to than what career to pursue. Though I liked photography, writing, and movies.

College - I was more concerned with what major to get than what career to pursue. Freshman year I switched from English to Media Studies, because I really liked photography, writing, and movies.

Lesson learned: I really like photography, writing, and movies. I have a college degree and way too much debt, and I'm still not entirely sure what to do with my life. I probably won't become a dentist or a salesperson, though.

I think about career and jobs way too much. I talk with friends about it, dream about it, plan one thing and then another. I ask everyone I meet what they do and how they like it. I'm thrilled when I hear someone say they are doing what they love. I can relate when someone tells me they're not where they want to be. I wonder if I'm still not "grown up" because I still don't know what I want to do with this life of mine.

What did you want to be when you "grew up"?

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