I recently asked some kids who visited my child development class what they want to be when they grow up. The answers were standard -- the younger girls wanted to be princesses and the younger boys wanted to be super heroes. The older girls wanted to be veterinarians and the older boys wanted to be pro athletes.
Little did they know that by the time they get to high school, they'd have more choices than they can imagine. When I was in high school, the choices were more limited -- if you were a female. I was encouraged to choose from the following: airline stewardess (I get air sick), secretary (I didn't want to type all day), nurse (I hated the thought of giving shots) or teacher (short days, long vacations -- that was for me!)
Some adult friends recently shared their "What I wanted to be when I grew up" stories, and I found their answers interesting:
"I wanted to be a dolphin trainer until my mother reminded me I would need to be good at science."
-- Lori (now in the insurance business)
"My guidance counselor suggested I become a secretary because it would be a waste of my parents' money to send me to college, only to have me get married and quit work to raise children."
-- Denise (degree in psychology)
"I wanted to be an astronaut and a trapeze artist and Batgirl. All involved flying through the air, which is something I only do now on vacation." -- Julie (nurse)
"At first I wanted to be an Olympic
-- Robin (cop)
"I wanted to be a lion tamer. I used to make my dogs jump through hoops."
-- Janet (writer)
"I made a list of princes to see if they'd still be eligible by the time I was old enough to marry. Then I realized that the occupation of princess was very limited."
-- Nancy (mom)
"I wanted to major in English, but was told by my father that such a major was worthless." -- Linda (writer)
"I wanted to be Annie Oakley, then a biochemist, then an oceanographer, then an ecologist, then a lawyer, then a historian, then a filmmaker. It was a really long list." -- Jan (writer)
"I wanted to be a bride in a gorgeous gown. I didn't want to get married. I only wanted the gown. I also wanted to be a princess and a ballerina and an Ice Capades dancer, mainly because of the beautiful costumes."
-- Diane (craftswoman)
"All I wanted to be was a pin setter in a bowling alley. I thought it was the most glamorous job in the world."
-- Pat (writer)
As for me, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I suppose I should make a decision, but there are so many great careers available today, I don't want to miss out on any. Of course, being a writer, I can be anything I want -- at least in my imagination.
Contact Penny Warner at www.pennywarner.com.