What do you want to be when you grow up?
At age 8: Didn't most girls want to be a teacher or a veterinarian? Something gentle and helpful . During this time I also considered becoming a psychologist, a librarian and Laura Inglles Wilder.
At Age 12: This is when I started to dream bigger, start to wish for fame and fortune. I listened to Madonna, Cindy Lauper, The Bangles and I practiced my dance moves in front of the mirror. Lip syncing was huge in the middle school talent show circuit, and I was going to be the next big star, if only I could carry a tune.
At Age 17: Facing the end of high school and the date that I would officially become an "adult", reality set in, a sort of adolescent angst induced reality perhaps, but reality none the less. Okay, so maybe I wasn't going to be staring on Broadway anytime soon, but I was going to college, and I was going to get drunk if it killed me. Freedom was on the horizon.
At Age 22: Now out of college it was time to start making some decisions. There was no more what are you going to be when you grow up, because well on paper I was in fact grown up. Time to decide what I was. What was I? I returned to my 8 year old values. A social worker of course, because I am nice like that. I landed my first job. A job coach for a local non-profit organization. I earned $17,000 a year driving developmentally disabled clients around Minneapolis in the used Volvo that my parents gave me as a gift. I totaled the car (with a client in tow) about a year into the gig and decided that it was time to find another profession... enter the world of temporary staffing.
At Age 23: I didn't care what the hell I was if it wasn't marry. I demanded a ring. I got one.
In my late 20's: On top of the world. DINKS. My husband and I had arrived. Two incomes, no kids, the world was our oyster. I worked to be better at my job. I fretted about missed promotions, I lost sleep over my *super important* job as corporate recruiter (what would happen if I didn't have a candidate to present to my hiring manager by the end of the week, oh woe is me!). I had a career path in mind. I was going to find my way to management.
At age 30: The big 3-0. A time for reflection right? Nah, more like a year of partying like a rock star (well as much as my self-imposed 10pm curfew self can party), because kids had to be in the near future. That's what people do. That's what I was going to be, a mommy.
At age 31: Baby Zack is born. One month after returning back to work full time, I demanded a reduced work schedule, I threatened to leave if I didn't get one. I needed more time to feel like a real mom.
At age 34: Enter baby Evan. I quit my job all together. No goals are as important as spending time with one's offspring and raising good boys, right? I am not sure but it felt right, well sort of.
At age 35.5 (Today): WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? The question is still hanging out there. A constant nag, and I still don't know. Torn and conflicted. Do I continue to stay in the mommy zone, the world of peanut butter and jelly, organized play dates and story time? Do I head back to goal setting, value added, metrics driven corporate America?
Is it Berkeley that has gotten to me-giving me the sudden urge to find myself? Perhaps I already have and I just don't know it yet.