What do you want to be when you grow up?

I have been crying a lot lately. I am not sure why. It might be the stress of trying to figure out what it is I want to be when I grow up. It’s funny, this question has been asked so many times by so many people over so many years. You would think I would have the answer by now. I still don’t.

The first time I remember it being asked I was on the radio. Don’t be impressed, I was six and it was an interview in Wisconsin with a bunch of other six year olds. All the other kids were saying things like doctor, policeman, one even wanted to be president. Not me, I spoke clear and loud, “I want to be a cocktail waitress!” My mother was mortified. But it was not because I wanted to serve cocktails. I mean I was six, I am not sure I even knew what the term cocktail meant. I just wanted to be one because I wanted to wear fishnet stockings and be cool. I think I may have listened to Free to Be You and Me a few too many times. (Check out the sound track if you don’t know it)

The next time I really remember thinking about what I wanted to do, I was in high school and I was filling out university applications. When I was in school we were told we had choices when we graduated, we could join the work force, the armed forces or go to school. However, in the house I grew up in my choices were Berkley, University of Minnesota or Georgetown. I, of course, chose Augsburg College, a small liberal arts Lutheran school. My Jewish grandmother was not impressed, but that is a whole other story.

Anyway, the next time I remember being asked I was in my third year of college and everyone was talking about the jobs they were starting to do internships for and how they wanted to work at certain companies. None of them sounded interesting to me. Everyone said I should be a lawyer, but the hours of solitude in a library followed by arguing about things I didn’t think were important didn’t sound great. So I graduated with a degree in journalism, I don’t know why I thought hours of solitude with a computer and asking questions no one wanted to ask or answer was better than arguing but I did. So with degree in hand and no idea what I wanted to do, I did what most 20-year-old kids did back then, I worked retail. Nowadays they start a YouTube channel. They are smarter than us.

And since then I have been kind of just going with the flow and finding whatever works for whatever amount of time it works for me. I have been a medical marketing associate, an assistant store manager, a black jack dealer, a health club manager, a bartender, a talent manager, a booker, a promoter, and a talent agent. But I am back at a cross roads. I don’t know what I want to do next. And now everyone, my parents, my friends, my peers are asking, “what do you want to be”? Do I go back to being an agent? Do I go back to school and become a lawyer? I never did become the cocktail waitress, maybe that is next…..



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