Thursday, May 27, 2010
When I grow up I want to be...hmmm, good question...
Let's see, as a kid I wanted to be an architect because I liked drawing. But, there was so much more to being an architect than just drawing, it required math. Ugh! Then I wanted to be a lawyer because it sounded cool. Heck, everyone wanted to be either a lawyer or doctor.
Fast forward to college, I started out majoring in Business Administration, but kept falling asleep in Accounting and Economics. For me, those subjects were boring with a capital B. But, not to insult those who are turned on by crunching numbers, it just wasn't my cup of tea. Then I switched over to Elementary Education and an art teacher took us to an elementary school to teach a lesson. Those unruly kids would not listen to me! "You're not a mommy, you're not tall enough!" That episode instantly ended that career choice for me. Don't laugh, those children left me traumatized.
Finally, I took an African-American Studies class and my eyes opened wide. I was Black! Yes, like James Brown sung, "I'm Black and I'm proud!" It was a new journey for me as those were the days that everyone wore the red-black-green Africa continent shaped medallions. So, I created a major in African-American Studies at the University of Kentucky. Where, I might add, took a few acting classes and was in a few plays.
Fast forward even further, I went to acting school in NY and all I wanted to do was land a gig on a sitcom.. or soap opera ...movie ...or even an indie film... or even a commercial -- or whatever could pay the rent and let me be on TV!
Okay, the point is...what am I going to be when I grow up? I've had every job there is: flight attendant, receptionist at the Geraldo Rivera show, grocery store clerk, make-up artist, nail technician, administrative assistant - just to name a few. But, those were just jobs, not careers or anything I strived to be when I grew up. Let's forget the fact that I'm a grown woman now, that's just a minute detail, okay.
So, that leaves me with the soul searching question: What will I be as I grow up, or mature?(As grown folks like to say.)
Toni Morrison once asked, "What is it that I must do or I'd die?" (Die being a metaphor for living without purpose.) For her, it was "I must write or else I'd die." What is it for me? I know what I like to do and what I really enjoy doing and even what I really, really like to do? But, are they what I would love to do every day or that I must do or I'd die?
It's like this commercial that's running on TV now. It shows mature(d) people saying what they want to be when they grow up, as if their goals were forgotten dreams distracted by the bill-paying-get-a-real-job-to-pay-the-bills necessity of life.
This journey of turning forty is more than experiencing a life of firsts, but discovering me. Who am I? What do I love? What is it that I must do on this earth that no one else is supposed to do?
Do you know what you must do, or else you'd die?