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What do you want to have been when you grow up?

When I grow up, I want to be a carpenter. Like my grampa.

When I grow up, I want to be a carpenter. – Kindergarten Janae

2nd-grade teacher. – 2nd-grade Janae.

4th-grade teacher. – 4th-grade Janae.

Political speech writer. – Serious High School Junior Janae.

Sh*t I don’t know! – Panicked College Junior Janae.

A lawyer. If I don’t get accepted by Teach For America and become a teacher. – Practical College Senior Janae.

Backpacker – Otherwise Still-Not-Committing-But-Definitely-Not-a-Teacher-College-Graduate Janae.

Me. I want to be me. Don’t laugh at me because I’m corny. – 22-years-7-months-22-days Janae.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A mom, a wife, a homeowner. A published author. Those things I know. I think (scratches head).

I’m thinking “up” isn’t a point you reach sooner if you do things “right” more often. I’d like to think life is a series of plans that did and didn’t go as plotted, phase stacked on phases built on bricks of lessons and memories filled in with new views, thoughts and sites.

I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. The ultimate “…-Present” Life Resume current status when I’m a grown up. I don’t know what I want it to say.

What do you want to have been when you grow up?

A risk-taker. A one-time sky-diver. A so-so guitar player. An apartment-leaser. A bad cook. An okay cook. A good cook. An independent woman. A best friend. A great girlfriend (PMS and all). A tolerable bride-to-be. A goldfish owner. A dog owner. A blonde. A brunette. An employee. A freelancer. An over-committer to too many good things. A Sunday afternoon bum. Someone to depend on. A game-changer.

And then when I get to being all grown up and mature and all that, I’d hope the journey up was a good one. Because there’s no best route to the destination unplanned.

So who do you want to be while you’re growing up?

You think of these silly things when you spend four months in Europe thinking to yourself all day, everyday, and then spend the next four months realizing how fast that time is fading into the past. Like forgetting about this picture until I saw it on the blog last night. Bucharest, September. Early in the trip and terribly homesick for the first time, I read Water For Elephants from start to finish that night. This picture summed up the solo sentiment.

Past, present, future. I haven’t changed that much since I was five, ten or fifteen. Golden Girls is playing on TV in the background. Lucille Ball dvds are in my player. Stevie Wonders “Uptight” is on pause.

The life soundtrack remains the same.

The writing remains the same. Like 7-year-old me, I rhyme for fun.

I still write silly for no one in particular to read.

And I ask for more projects when it just isn’t busy enough already.

Also, homework is too easy for me. If the homework was harder, it would be more fun, because if I were stuck on a hard question, once I answered the question, I would say in my head, “yea, I got it.” – 4th-grade Janae.

So… I want to be me. And I hope Golden Girls is still playing in the background. We’ll figure out the rest later. And since you all know me so well, you can hold me to it til we’re all older wrinkled versions of our quirky selves. Thank you for bein’ a friend.

Now, what do you want to have been?

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