When I Grow Up

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

There is always an age-appropriate question that everyone and their mother seems to ask you. There's

"What college are you going to?"

"When are you majoring in?"

"When are you going to get married?"

"When are you going to have kids?"

"Did you gain weight?" Oh wait, I don't think that one's usually said aloud.

Anyway, as lovely as these questions may be, to me they were always a little bit too invasive. But I'm a pretty private person (says the girl who blogs her life). At least about some things.

But when I was younger there was a question that teachers would ask and I had no problem answering it.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

At first the question is easy because words like college, training, and years of experience mean nothing to your little eight-year-old brain. You answer truthfully about things you are passionate about. Jobs that are so cool and interesting to you that you can imagine doing them when you're ancient and 20. You think of the fun and the fame the job will bring you.

I love hearing what little kids want to be. Their hopes and dreams haven't been dashed yet by us cynical adults yet. Their little heads are still full of things like creativity and passion.

When I was younger I was A LOT different than I am now. I loved science. I'd actually read science books. I mean, I still love science. I catch myself actively watching Nova when I should be working but now it just kind of fascinates me; it doesn't completely leave me wanting to know WHY.

Anyway, back then I would read science books and watch Bill Nye at my grandma's house. (I didn't understand the whole video thing yet. I wouldn't get into film/video until late in high school.)

So what to book-nerd Valerie was the coolest job on the planet? Well, I wanted to either an astronaut

or a paleontologist.

Seriously guys. Don't need to laugh that hard.

Could you imagine me right now in...somewhere sandy? With khaki shorts, and brown boots with long socks sticking out the top? An Indiana Jones hat on my super-frizzy hair while I brandished soft bristle brushes and dusted layers of dirt? Me neither.

These careers no longer interested me when I realized you need a lot of math and science and other brainy things to become an astronaut. Not to mention crazy guts to hurl yourself out of our atmosphere and into the great scary blackness that is space.

Digging for dinosaurs sounded crazy to me when I realized that I could spend hours and hours of my life digging in places only to find nothing more than a seashell. Or not even that much.

Pst. I got better things to do.

Only...you know. Not really.

Still it is weird to think back on that. To imagine myself in the third person as some weird little kid who really liked space and dinosaurs enough to want to do that for the rest of their adult life.

So if I was to be asked this question now, what would my answer be? Well, I'd set my sights lower. I'd be the inventor of the Snuggie. Or the person who thought up Netflix.

Ahhh yeah. Then I'd be set.

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