Thinking About the Worst Question in the World…

Thinking About What You Want To Be When You Grow Up

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

Still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up? It’s okay – most of us are in the same boat.

Having recently graduated I am faced with a terrifying prospect. No longer able to use my semesters stubbornly refusing to think about what comes next, I must now do exactly that – and find myself a job. Not only that, but one related to my degree.

Is it too late to find out I’m the Princess of Genovia? Asking for a friend.

It’s about as easy as it sounds. If “easy” means trying to find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Seven-year-old me believed this was true, of course, thanks largely to the Rainbow Magic series.

Wow, I haven’t thought of those books in ages. Hold on while I dissolve into a nostalgic mess.

Alright, I’m back.

What no one ever told me about the growing up process is that everyone must eventually face the reality that no one can actually reach the end of a rainbow, that Santa Clause isn’t real, and that fairies don’t really collect teeth. Basically – magic isn’t real and reality is kind of terrible.

Sorry, but it’s true.

Sidenote: now that I think about it – the tooth fairy is a bit weird. Why would they want all those gross teeth, anyway?

The tooth fairy has spoken.

I confess that though I have yet to be counted amongst these people labelled “adults,” I still can’t help but think of simpler times – you know, like when I loved to read books about fairies. I didn’t have to think about jobs or paying bills. I didn’t have to stress myself out wondering if every decision I ever made was wrong.

I just realised I sound like a cynical old woman. Now, get off my lawn!

Anyway, when we were younger we were often asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. Oh, how I have come to hate this question. Back in the day, it was something I struggled to understand. How can you know what you’re going to be when you grow up if you don’t really believe you’re going to grow up?

As a child, I was what people would have described as a “girly-girl.” When given the loathsome question this entire post is centred around, I would have answered with the classic “girly-girl” choices – a princess, a fairy, or maybe a mermaid. Unfortunately for my five-year-old self, these do not make great career choices. Being a princess, although quite a stretch, is technically within the realm of possibility. However, as far as I’m aware of, becoming a fairy or mermaid is sadly not possible.

I hate to crush your dreams people, but we have to face the truth.

I guess it could be said that my goals were a bit unrealistic. Even at age eleven, I was

What do you mean, Hogwarts isn’t real?

still low-key waiting for my Hogwarts acceptance letter. It never came, in case you were wondering. I managed to convince myself it was because I lived in Australia and not the U.K.

After that disappointment, I decided to be a writer. I had always loved books, after all. Before I discovered Netflix I was a chronic book binger. I read constantly. After I realised that even a writer was considered an unrealistic job prospect, I decided to be an editor instead.

Jump three years later and I don’t know what I want to do anymore. However, I think this is okay. We don’t need to have everything figured out straight away. At this point, I just want a job… Any job, you know?

What a depressing reality.

How did/do you feel about entering the job market for the first time? Did you have any idea what you were doing? As I mentioned in my last post, I’m pretty sure we’re all in the same boat, right? I really hope so… If I’m on my own here, that would be pretty bleak.




Questions I Need Answered:

  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
  • Did you ever become whatever it was that you wanted to be as a child?
  • Were you just as terrified as I am now when attempting to find a “proper” job for the first time?
  • Do you have any words of wisdom for someone now seriously considering becoming a professional mermaid?
  • Did you ever read the Rainbow Magic series?
  • What is that one question you absolutely hate being asked?

4 thoughts on “Thinking About the Worst Question in the World…

  1. When I was little I wanted to be a fireman…not because of any “heroic” or “noble” reasons. When I was 7 I learned they often worked nights and I didn’t like getting up in the morning so that seemed like a good deal.
    Ultimately I grew out of that and did NOT become a fireman…I did however enter the workforce 7 years ago, in a job semi related to what I studied. I’ve realized that although magic doesn’t exist and things won’t work out as i dreamt of as a child, adulthood is about redefining what success means.Is it career? Family? Friends? Pets? Fitness? Hobbies? Money? Follow what makes you happy and be successful at that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Throughout my time at school and uni I always felt this pressure to fit into this idea of what life “should” look like. I thought that since mine didn’t look like that, it meant I was failing at life, or something dramatic. I think you’re right in saying that I need to redefine what success means and what is actually important to me. Thanks for the advice!
      Also, what child wouldn’t want to be a fireman? To a kid, it seems ideal.


  2. When I was little I always wanted to be a veterinarian. I love animals. Like I would have all the animals in the world (minus birds) if I could. BUT Introduction to Chemistry said NOT TODAY GIRL. So I changed my major. Don’t feel down though, it took me 8 months and 3 states away from where I lived to find a good job in my field! You’ll get there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I know that you’re right. The process of finding a job is brutal, but eventually I’ll get there. Before graduating, I’d heard that this was the way it was going to go – but I didn’t want to believe it! Thanks for the words of encouragement!
      Also – a vet. I love it! Spending all day with animals is a child’s dream.


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