Recently, I asked the following question on the Happy Black Woman Community Facebook page:
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
There were a lot of interesting answers from women all over the world.
The ladies in our HBW community wanted to be dancers, lawyers, singers, teachers, actresses, etc. Some of them changed their goals over the years, but many ended up pursuing their childhood dream as a career, side hustle or serious hobby.
Me? When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a teacher. By high school, I’d added writer and chef to my “when I grow up” list. I’m almost 30 years old now, and that list hasn’t really changed for me. I’ve always been happiest when I’m teaching or writing or cooking!
Over the years, I’ve experienced all three of these dreams in some capacity, though not exactly in the ways I’d imagined I would.
I went to college, majored in English and started calling myself a writer and poet. As a result, I developed a career in the nonprofit field as a grant writer and fundraising professional. I’ve also been able to explore my passion for writing through blogging! A few years after grad school, I got the opportunity to teach as an adjunct professor at my alma mater. Through my business, I’ve been able to teach what I know and share my message of leadership and personal development through speaking, workshops and online training. With cooking, I haven’t become a chef in any formal way, but I continually hone my culinary skills as a hobby and enjoy any chance to learn new recipes and prepare tasty meals.
While I haven’t given up on any of my childhood dreams, I still haven’t pursued any of them with the sense of urgency that I could have.
With teaching, I haven’t sought out any formal adjunct positions since I taught my last course in spring 2011. I also haven’t looked into teaching English as a second language, which was one of my goals in college. As for my chef dream, one of my ultimate fantasies is to attend culinary school, or at least an organized cooking program, but I haven’t explored options for that in years. And with writing, I’m just now getting back to the realization that all I’ve ever wanted to be was a writer – not a manager, not a CEO, not a nonprofit guru – just a writer.
The question is, what do I want to be now?
What did you want to be when you grew up? Have you given up on your childhood dream(s)? Or have you just switched gears with what you want your life to look like?