As a child, what did you most want to be when you grew up? Did you end up doing this? Why or why not?
There were quite a few professions that I dreamed of having when I was young. They ranged from neurosurgeon and writer to model and show girl (think Rockette not Vegas nudity).
I wanted to be a neurosurgeon because I loved science and, at the ripe old age of 6, I thought that money made the world go round. Neurosurgeons made lots of money. I had no idea that such a job would require a lifestyle with little room for friends, family or relaxation. Once I discovered the personal sacrifices this job entailed - the dream faded.
Good thing I had other dreams. I have always loved to write, won several contests throughout my school-age years and knew it was something that I could succeed in should I choose to make a career out of it. When I was younger - there were a few years when I was determined to grow up and be a journalist. But, as time went on I abandoned that aspiration because I realized that writing was an artform and like any true artist - I didn't want someone else (a boss, magazine editor, etc.) telling me how to "do" my art. I enjoyed writing what I wanted to write about, in a voice that was uniquely my own and I had no desire to be asked to conform to someone else's style or preferences.
There was a period of time (middle school years) that I wanted to be a model or a show girl. Not the naked, peep show sort of show girl but a New York City Rockette or dancer on Broadway. I was trained in all styles of dance and thought surely it was something that I could make a career out of. But, in 9th grade I gave up on that ambition too.
Finally, during my senior year of high school, when I made the bold (OK, it's true I just couldn't hack it) move to quit calculus class in exchange for accounting 101, I settled on the "job of my dreams" - accounting. I decided rather quickly that I wanted to work in public accounting for a national or international firm. Accounting was something that I could do and do well. It was basic and simple. Either the numbers matched up, the books balanced - or they didn't. When I did well - I knew it and so did everyone else - the financial statements were proof. To succeed in the profession of public accounting all you needed to know was principles, standards and financial rules, apply them, pass certain tests, and maybe have a few people skills (although the last qualification is debatable). There was no subjectivity to the process of accounting and so I determined that I would choose a job in this field. My writing would be left for personal use so that I could explore the talent under no pressure or opinion of anyone else. My parents were indeed shocked when I applied to college with a declared major of Accounting.
I sailed through the college courses with an A average - all but that one lonesome"B" that I got in Cost Accounting. I was offered a full-time job (and accepted) with a regional accounting firm before my senior year of college, passed my CPA exam (on the second try) and had a great career.
BUT - my heart was never in it. My heart - was to be a mommy. AND THAT IS WHAT I AM.
I may have talent in writing, speaking, baking, and accounting but the gifts that I desire to refine in my life are the gifts of patience, teaching, understanding, innovation, peace-making, communicating, creativity, nurturing, advocating, protecting, welcoming, providing, trusting, praising, encouraging and LOVING. And those gifts are best displayed in my lifelong career choice: to be a Mommy to as many little kiddos as I can.