when you grow up

After a week of ignoring the existence of the computer, and before another two weeks of the same (blessed time with the family), there are a few days with… well, just me inside my head, next to the lists of chores and things to sort out like who feeds the cat, how do we paint the window frames before the carpenters come to place them, that sort of thing…
And because it’s only been day for about an hour, although it’s twelve (the monsoon-like storm this morning reminded a bit of an alien invasion movie), today is a light topic day. Last week I talked to mom about my brother deciding what he wanted to do as a study. And I remembered what a tantalizing time that was, when I had to choose. When instead of the feeling that the world was your oyster, that everything was possible, you were to determine that you were going to be this one, single thing – and what was it? Was it something you were really good at? Something you strongly believed in? Something that would challenge you constantly or, on the contrary, something that would make you feel good about yourself because you could do it blindfolded? Was it moral considerations of `what can I change in the world?` which were going to lead the decision, or would it be a self-centered `what do I like most?`? I remember the tightness in my stomach and the dissapointment when I had already made my choice – that it was an easy choice. A safe choice. Unadventurous, uninteresting, inexpensive (therefore very responsible)… And yet I was, after a few years, after I had grown up a bit, quite happy with my choice. Not that I had grown to love it, quite the opposite, I realised I had loved it all along, but it was so `me` that I found it boring 🙂 . Therefore here I am, making my two lists for the day: the list of things I wanted to become while growing up; and the list of things I’d still like to become when I grow up (assuming that today I miraculously turned 16 again).

During childhood, I wanted to be:
-a horticulturist
-a doctor
-a ballerina
-a schoolteacher
-a stewardess (they didn’t call that flight attendant yet)
-(almost forgot, later edit:) fashion designer (around 14)
In adolescence, flirted with:
-child psychologist
-interior decorator
and that’s about it.

I suppose the scarcity of choices that went through my head is also caused by the fact that, where I come from, there’s no guidance to show a teenager what a humungous diversity of potential professions there are out there. And also, there really weren’t that many professions in the reality of the nineties in Romania. Because today, I would like to be (in no particular order):

-an illustrator of children’s books (like her)
-a furniture designer/maker
-a traditional woodpainter
-a professional writer
-a human rights activist
-a bed-and-breakfast host
-a chef
-a multiarmed event organiser
-an urban planner
-a medical doctor
-a (yeah, I know, how cliche, but still!) photographer for National Geographics
-a landscape architect
-a linguistic researcher
-an ethologist
-a speleologist
-an oceanographer
-somebody living off a fortune and only exercising hobbies.

I’m afraid none of the above will necessarily help my brother, who is, of course, a rock star for the time being. But maybe it’s nice to know that the narrowing of one’s field of interest is not permanent (quite the opposite) – and that you can always chose wrongly and grow towards what’s really you…?


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