When I grow up

I don’t know about you, but I often use the phrase “I am not sure yet what I want to do when I grow up”. But what does “growing up” mean? Does it mean:

  • reaching your final goal in life?
  • having fulfilled your dream?
  • having arrived or finally settled?

None of this sounds really appealing to me.


So I went back in time and thought about my dreams and aspirations.

When I was 10, I thought I had to pick a profession. I was often asked, “what do you want to do when you grow up”? I told my mum I wanted to be a hair stylist, she thought that wasn’t ambitious enough. Well, that surely set the path.

When I was 20, I thought once I graduate from college, life would just happen as it is supposed to: find a job, a husband, have kids, buy a house.

When I was 30, I got layed off, broke up with my then love of my life, didn’t have any kids. I decided to sell my apartment to go back to school for a graduate degree. And somehow thought that would get me back on to my path. Whatever that path was supposed to be for me. I was starting to question “the path”.

Now I am in my 40s and I certainly question whether there is “a path” you are supposed to take that will get you to “being all grown up”. Looking back I realize, every time things didn’t work out the way they were supposed to (at least as I thought they should at the time), something beautiful happened. I started something new. I dreamed new dreams.

Now I know. There is not one thing I want to do when I grow up. I want to continue having new beginnings, fresh dreams. I love the journey of life wherever it takes me with all its winding roads and detours. The notion of “growing up” as a static place or time in the future is not my story.

My story is the journey I take, not the destination. Now I understand what my mum said to me when I was 10. She wasn’t criticizing my career choices. My mum was telling me to keep an open mind and not to limit myself to only things that I knew, but rather explore and challenge the limits of my dreams.

I hope I will always dream new dreams and in this sense never grow up!