Tuesday, February 21, 2006

When I Grow Up

I had one of those books my mom would update every year when I was in elementary school. It was called Blank's School Years and you filled your name in where the blank was. I am sure you can get them custom printed nowadays.

Every year we would fill out who my teacher was, my favorite subject (reading!), friend's name and a favorite memory. Then there would be a list to choose from that was "What I Want To Be When I Grow Up". The list consisted of Homemaker (yes, Wordgirl much to your chagrin!) Teacher, Nurse, Stewardess and what else I can't remember. Those four seemed to apply to girls and to me personally.

Who wouldn't want to be a stewardess? Fly the Friendly Skies! Stewardesses back then were sexy and very glamorous. You HAD to be tall, thin, pretty and look good in a jaunty cap. The tall, thin part was going to be a hurdle for me. I topped out at 5'3".

Now, you would think that I was all creative and wouldn't be stuck with just that list. Nooooo, not me. I thought I had to be one OF THOSE CAREERS. Homemaker never appealed to me. Especially, if I had to wear a dress everyday--and vacuum all the time. But, teacher! Hey, I was good at bossing people around and I liked to talk. That career seemed tailor made for me. Because of the limitations of the list I decided a teacher is what I HAD to be.

At 18, and a freshman in college, I still was not aware of any other career that I would be able to do so again, put down English Education as my major. The other bonus was the limited amount of math that major required - Whew!

I will admit here, because hey, this is my blog and totally personal and like no one will know, but I was shamefully unaware of other careers. When I met my hubby and he said he was an engineer, in my dim little mind I immediately thought "Drives A Train". Even though I KNOW some engineers don't drive the train. Maybe some have to sit in the caboose!

Long story short....I feel like I am still growing up and still making my way. When I was young I thought you reached a certain adult age and suddenly ALL OF THE ANSWERS BECAME CLEAR. Maybe I just need to get my eyes checked....


  • Yeah, I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be. Maybe by the time I'm nearing 70, I'll get it.

    By Blogger Renee, at 2/21/2006 8:55 AM  

  • My problem is, I want to be too many things. I don't think we ever really decide. We pick something for awhile but there's always going to be something else we'll get involved in or pine after. It's the nature of life and having WAY too many choices. :)

    By Blogger Tink, at 2/21/2006 10:11 AM  

  • I had that same book. Each page was an envelope open at the top that you could put momentos in.
    I always picked nurse or missionary or missionary nurse as my chosen career.

    I think being a woman in the time in which we live is most wonderful because we are not confined to a list of 4 or 5 "acceptable" female vocations. And if you want to make a change at 35 or 50 or 70 and do something totally different, you can!

    By Anonymous TB, at 2/21/2006 10:28 AM  

  • On that subject: I had a student who decided to write her persuasive essay on "How Women Were Taking Away Jobs Intended For Men". I was astounded! Her view was the product of Christian Extremism (Fundamentalism) at its worst and she maintined that the only Jobs out there suitable for women were: secretary, nurse and teacher. I pointed out to her that secretary hardly fell into the same category as two things that required degrees (not to mention the fact that women had the ability/intelligence to do anything the men could, but she was having none of it.

    It was very hard to give her a grade that didn't reflect my rage over her ignorance. I gave her the grade that reflected the mechanics of her writing. Anything else would have merited an F.

    By Blogger wordgirl, at 2/21/2006 11:02 AM  

  • I alternately wanted to be a race car driver and a dentist. Now I think Nascar? Ick! Other peoples mouths? Ick!

    Yep, still trying to figure it all out...

    By Blogger Mignon, at 2/21/2006 11:26 AM  

  • Wordgirl...What grade do you teach? I'm hoping preschool and not, say, graduate school. I'd be very curious to know what occupation that student ended up (or will end up) in.

    I'm living proof that you can completely change careers at age 29, AND thrive in a male-dominated field!

    By Blogger The Gradual Gardener, at 2/21/2006 11:30 AM  

  • I thought the same thing, that I'd reach an age where everything would be clear. Not just about jobs, but about everything else. I thought I'd know how to remove stubborn stains by now. I thought I'd know how to make a roux.

    I thought I'd know how to get a photo to appear in my profile.

    By Blogger Arabella, at 2/21/2006 1:44 PM  

  • From someone older than life itself (sometimes, anyway)....don't
    ever grow up ! Just keep smiling and learning, and sharing ! And save those silly momentos. They're all a part of who you are today!

    By Blogger River Witch, at 2/21/2006 2:47 PM  

  • I had that same book, and I also had a mother who pushed me to get a teaching degree to "fall back on" or to "supplement the family income."

    By Blogger Trish, at 2/21/2006 5:05 PM  

  • Things are changing....slowly, slowly.....and the line between what a 'mans' job is vs. a 'womans' job is blurring. Case in point, my nephew just graduated as a nurse and my neice is well on her way to being a corprate attorney. Both are very happy with their choices.

    My daughter wants to be a neonatologist. Why? Becasue I have been telling her that she should be one since the day she was born, 3 months early, 10 years ago. A neonatologist saved her life....why not do the same for another tiny baby some day. Who knows? She may end up being a bag lady, but it never hurts to dream and I will love her either way.

    Also, we should support those who choose to be 'a mommy'. The war of the 'working mothers' and the 'stay a home mothers' needs to cease....otherwise we become our own worst enemies. Mother of the world unite and support one anothers choices!!!

    By Anonymous Carol, at 2/21/2006 6:33 PM  

  • Damn, you mean the adult manual is not just lost in the mail...?

    What about the how to raise children manual? I am desperate for that to arrive.

    By Blogger Ditsy Chick, at 2/21/2006 10:26 PM  

  • GG- I used to teach the 8th grade. But I haven't taught in a long time.

    By Blogger wordgirl, at 2/21/2006 11:07 PM  

  • I have wanted to be a writer FOREVER. I signed up for an extracurricular creative writing class when I was 7. When I was 11, I started journaling and never stopped. In 7th grade, I wrote an essay on being a homemaker and one on being a journalist. I wrote for the local newspaper in high school and wrote short fiction for myself. I dabbled with the idea of being a teacher in part because I loved being a student, and I occasionally tossed around the idea of law school or an environmental science minor, but ended up, no surprise, a writer. My brother is a writer as well and we've had parallel career paths...

    By Anonymous V-Grrrl, at 2/22/2006 8:57 AM  

  • You're not along. I think a lot of us are still feeling our way, even vocationally. I know I want to do something completely different from journalistic work when my kiddos hit school age...

    By Blogger The Queen Mama, at 2/22/2006 9:04 AM  

  • Tell me when you find out, k??

    By Anonymous sarcastic journalist, at 2/22/2006 10:36 AM  

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