Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What Did You Want to Be?

What did you want to be when you “grew up”? Or, what do you want to be? I love this question, either version. It says something about a person, don't you think? In fact, I sometimes ask my characters, as I’m getting to know them, what they want to be—in case you were wondering.

Anyway. . .

At a recent gathering, a few friends and yours-truly started talking about what we once wanted to be and how things turned out. Some talked about what they still want to be when they grow up (probably best not to ask too many questions about ages here). One good friend was determined to be a veterinarian. These days she isn’t practicing veterinary medicine, but she shares her life and home with two horses (one arthritic and in need of constant care), an irritable pony, two dogs, three cats who had once been homeless, a lizard and an elderly snake. Clearly my friend didn’t miss the veterinarian target by all that much.

Someone else aspired to be a psychologist when he was younger, but ended up a locksmith. Not much connection, right? Ah, but you should hear this guy’s stories about how some clients open up about their personal problems (issues that have nothing to do with locks or safes, by the way). Customers who sense a good listener with a big heart--a one-time psychologist wanna-be.

Another guy thought he’d be a chef. He sort of is, but not in the way that he’d planned. By day, he’s an accountant. By night (and by weekends), a chef for his family and friends. And he doesn’t just serve up simple pasta throw-togethers or frozen meal heat-ups, either. Oh no. This guy whips up serious, homemade dinners. The stuff my family only dreams about.

Is it the writer in me, or is all of this kind of fascinating?

Oh, and in case you're wondering: I wanted to be a jockey. I grew out of that career choice, though-- literally. Still, I'll always love horses and riding. Don't be surprised to find a horse or two in my stories. *wink*


  1. Oh gosh, I wanted to be so many things when I was a kid: an archeologist, a nurse, a map-maker, even a nun (though I didn't understand why I had to be Catholic to be one....) By the time I was in high school I knew I liked working with kids and seriously thought about being a kindergarden teacher. It didn't happen, but I did end up working for 23 years with kids, just not the little ones. Nope, I worked with abused, neglected, and emotionally disturbed kids of all ages. Loved it!

  2. Really? A jockey? That is so cool and interesting. I wanted to be a Broadway star. Too bad I can't sing ... or dance. Oh well :D

  3. I didn't know you wanted to be a jockey!
    This was a great post, by the way! Really excellent.

    I wanted to be an actress, by the way. :)

  4. Bish, how wonderful that you worked with kids in need! That's great! And yet you started out wanting to be a map-maker or a nun. Interesting. The map-maker in particular intrigues me.

    Yeah, I know, Tess and Emily, a jockey is kind of bizarre, isn't it? What can I say? This sprouted from my love of horses and riding.

    And you both wanted to be actresses. I'm impressed. I knew from moment go not to even bother with that one. I couldn't hold a tune if it came with a handle. ; )