Have You Given Up On Your Childhood Dream?

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?

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  1. Reece

    I wanted to be a writer. Specifically, a writer in Paris. I was less than 10 years old when I had the thought…what could I have possibly known about Paris?! LOL Nothing! But I knew I loved telling stories…

  2. Yanique

    Dancer, then Journalist and so I got my Bachelor’s in Communications and Media Studies though have worked in that field directly. I’m now in the non-profit field as a program director. I hope to be a published writer and business owner in the near future.

  3. Tiffany

    I wanted to be an actress, a writer, an artist, a TV show host, a filmmaker…and a superhero (LOL!).

  4. Tatiana

    When I was younger, I wanted to work with animals – marine biologist, animal behaviorist (though never a vet). As I got older, I entertained the idea of becoming a Writer (and herpetologist and psychiatrist). I initially went to college to do creative writing, but eventually decided against it because I feel that if you’re a writer, you just need to write. I thought about switching my major to biology but didn’t do well in my first college bio class.

    Anyway – fast forward: I’m starting a new job that’s closer to my preferred dream of working with the environment in some capacity and am looking at graduate programs in wildlife conservation. I’ve begun writing fiction again, which makes me feel REALLY amazing and am looking forward to getting published (whenever that happens. haha).

    So… slow and steady! haha.

  5. Ive always wanted to be a writer, but I’m in my own way because I’m way to critical sometimes. The other was a doctor. I took a detour in hair by accident and have been beating myself up for not going to medical school sooner, so now I’m taking a short cut as a nurse practioner. I’ll make pretty good money and still have some of the privileges of a doctor;)

    • It’s so interesting how we ALL seem to take certain “detours” by accident. Congrats to you for taking the steps to reclaim your dream!

  6. Growing up, I recall wanting to be a teacher and a creater of sorts (crafter, artist). I also remember not being satisfied with the notion that I had to choose one thing to do or be. My interests and talents spread amongst various mediums. Now that I’m 27 those things still resonate with me and I’m putting more time into my creative aspirations in order to depart from this conventional lifestyle.

    P.S- Thanks to you for the inspiration.

    • Thanks for stopping by Crystal! Happy to hear that you’ve chosen to live a life of creativity. I’ve heard the term “multi-passionate entrepreneur” that might resonate with your experience. I know it does for me!