“When I Grow Up…”

Ask any child what their future career will be, and you can expect something flashy, grandiose or downright ridiculous.  For most, it is unlikely they will become a professional athlete, astronaut, or actress*.  Yet, we continue to encourage them to dream big.

I dreamed of many future jobs – some more seriously than others – and worked as hard as a six year old can to prepare myself.  There were the games of pretend for when I wanted to be an actress, the girl band from when I wanted to be a famous singer, and the stories of a future author.  As a fourth grader, I wrote a speech about the environment that I hoped to give before the village board to convince them to clean up the wooded area in my neighborhood.  Just before high school, I toured a bookmaking facility and interviewed a publisher just in case my love of books could become a career.  Most of the time, I just fantasized about a huge corner office and a briefcase like my father’s.

However, there is one career I was certain I would pursue.  “I want to be the first female president.”  Politics was a simple choice.  I am an excellent negotiator and want to help people succeed at life.  It seemed appropriate.  Even after a week in high school spent sleeping, eating, & breathing politics through NYLC’s program in Washington D.C., I still planned to get my law degree and transform the government into a lower cost, more effective infrastructure to work for the people.

(Side note:  When Hillary Clinton began her campaign for the top spot, I cried a little inside.  It was not out of dislike for Mrs. Clinton but rather because if she won I couldn’t be the first female president.)

I no longer plan to enter politics because the red tape of capitol hill is too great to create a truely effective government.  There is a part of me that still considers law school because my ideals have not changed, and I still want to reach out and make others’ lives better.  However, I can accomplish this more effectively on a small scale.  Currently, I volunteer for Habitat for Humanity both as a builder and associate at the Green Bay ReStore.  I cannot make a big change in someone’s life, but I can work with other volunteers to make someone’s life a little easier.

As a marketing professional, I am pleased to look back on my former dream careers and see little ways they assert themselves in my current life.  A lot of my time is spent learning and being creative whether through new classes, books, knitting, photography, or travel.

Perhaps someday I will do some great deed that will epicly change life as we know it.  (Yes, I read too many books as a child.)  However, I can help in small ways in the meantime.

* My favorite will always be one 3 yr old’s pronouncement that he wanted to be either Big Bird or a banana.  He was quite serious.



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