Thursday, 15 September 2011

How do you know if you're a 'grown-up'

I don't know another way to phrase it, as the question always was "what do you want to be when you grow up?" So, what happens when you think, at over 30 years of age, that you are 'grow-ed up' but you still don't know what you want to be.

I can't quite put my finger on the actual cause for this reflection, it has so many surrounding causes, but here's my potted history:
  • as a little one I always wanted to write children's books, I loved books, I loved to read, and thought lots of writers who wrote for children were pants- I'd show them.
  • then I got into LA Law and Perry Mason (or something like that) and wanted more than anything to be a lawyer... I found out this actually read 'barrister'. I then found out how much study this required and put a stop to that idea.
  • I then decided I wanted to be a secondary school teacher, this was actually the course I started doing at uni, but in spite of my thought process that whilst specialising in drama I did not have any ambition of being on stage I'm not sure my counterparts did, it was tough and competitive and not for me.
  • I transferred my efforts (and degree) to focus on teaching with an SEN bias having benefited so much from this, unfortunately by the time I graduated the last thing I wanted to do was go back for more so I joined the rat race.
  • The rat race consisted of turning a part-time job into my 'career'- an admin manager for a high street retailer. It didn't last.
  • And I took a job in the public sector, a complex organisation, and since joining I've managed to do some professional qualifications as well as going back to uni and doing an MBA...
  • And here I am, ten years with the same organisation, four different jobs, three children, and about to move 200 odd miles...
And this is probably where so much reflection is coming from.
When did I grow up.
How did I have such defined job ambitions and in the end fall in and ride the tide.
I joke with people at work that I can't ever imagine a child being asked "what do you want to be when you grow up?" and coming anywhere close to my job.
I have always loved my job.
And obviously, coming back from maternity leave this time and it's impact. My memories of coming back last time aren't anywhere near as painful or difficult.
I find it so difficult juggling a job with three children and a husband. And the stress of moving house thrown in for good measure.

But I can't help but think if there's ever a time to decide what you want to be when you've grown up it's now, because it's only going to be another day tomorrow, so why not start now.

I'm none the wiser, I have unknowingly become a jack of all trades, master of none. I don't have a specialism, I do have a good job- enjoyable most days.

But when I'm old, or when my children are responding to 'what does mummy do?' I'm not sure I'll be able to let them know the answer. That's not a bad thing, I never really knew what my dad did when I was little, her left for work every day at 8 and got home at 6, did I ever need to know more? Oddly, it turns out that the only real difference between my job and my dad's is that his is in the private sector- only took me 20 years to find that out!

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