What do you want? Why is one question so hard to answer.

The question ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ is a common one children and young adults hear.  My college bound daughter hears it in every conversation – “so, what’s your major?”.  But what about the forty-something rest of us.  What do we want to be when we grow up?

Good data is scarce regarding how many times a person will change careers because it is difficult to determine what exactly constitutes a career change.  Therefore, I will use my life as an example as I try to figure out why it is so difficult to answer the question- what do you want?

My first career, at the age of 21, was working law enforcement for the state of California.  I switched to Realtor about ten years later, then research agriculture about 3 years after that. I have had three real career changes in my life, and I am still trying to answer the question ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’.

Starting this blog was due, in part, to my desire to be a writer.  All my life I have enjoyed reading. I wrote children books for my brothers, then decided I didn’t have a talent for it when the books didn’t hold their attention.  Looking back, I think it was a defect of the audience …  not the reading material (sorry mom, but I’m pretty sure your sons are defective).

‘What do you want’  is a hard question to answer, partly because there is a certain amount of guilt attached to it.  I have a beautiful, healthy family, a husband who fully supports my decisions (most of the time), and the opportunity to do whatever I want.  Do I want to be a SAHM (stay at home mom), do I want to jump back into my career and continue advancing, or do I want to do something totally different?  The real question is what is going to be fulfilling to ME.  To answer that question, you have to know yourself.

I would love to do something that makes a difference in the world, change lives, triumph over evil, vanquish the dragon.  Even if the dragon is just the two bottom teeth of a 5 month old baby.

I spoke to a friend yesterday who told me to focus on the things that really matter.  Not how clean the house is – which is a good thing because right now my house is scary – or how quickly the Christmas decorations come down, but live life to the fullest by enjoying the moment.  Stop trying to figure out ‘what next’, and enjoy what is.

I am going to take that advice.  And make a chart (every decision is better with a pros and cons chart).  Instead of asking what I want, maybe ask ‘what will fulfil my desire to be a hero and slay the dragon’?

Next course of action.  Define the dragon.  Be the hero.  Clean the house.

The Dragon
The Dragon









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