I was in 2nd grade, sitting in a classroom doing crafts at my church’s annual vacation bible school. Trying to get the kids to converse, the leaders started asking questions to all the kids. “And how about you Michael,” a middle aged woman leader asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” “A missionary,” Michael replied absently. “Well you can be a missionary now!” I burst out.
The adult leader smiled, “Of course, but certain jobs you have to be big to do. I bet when Michael grows up he’ll be a very good missionary, don’t you think so?” “But he doesn’t have to grow up to be a missionary,” I protested, “My mom always says we can evangelize with our lives every day,” I turned to Michael, “You can be a missionary now.” Michael seemed disinterested and kept on coloring. The adult leader smiled at me and said, “You are very eager. Remember to slow down though. You’re still a little girl.” She walked away to help another child as I sat there internally fuming that I wasn’t able to get my point across to her.
What Do You Want To Be?
The “what do you want to be when you grow up” question is one of the oldest there is. My grandfather stills asks this of himself. It’s a question asked from your toddler years to your late teenage years, and the answer changes over time usually. One of the things I always hated about that question was that it implied that at the moment you weren’t anything at all, just some kid or teenager.
Our society today can be cruel, sending the impression that one person on their own can’t make a difference and can’t change the world. Not only is this impression wrong, but it is also demotivating. While to some extent, there is a line between what you can only do as an adult, I feel we automatically make this line thicker, adding to it goals that we assume can only be accomplished later.
Live Your Dream
I challenge you to live out your dream now. Whatever career you want to achieve typically has different paths to it. Why wait till you graduate to start truly living? Once we fully open our eyes, it is amazing how many opportunities there are that we skim past without glancing at it twice. A few of these include: internships at a science lab, volunteer work at a park, hosting a kids’ story time at the library, or becoming a simple “runner” at an office building.
While it may seem daunting at first, exploring your career before heading straight for it at college can also help you figure out what exactly you enjoy doing. It might even save years of time and thousands of dollars if you find out early on that you do not enjoy what you thought you would enjoy or your interests really lie somewhere else. Your line is only as thick as you choose to make it so go out there and pursue your dreams.