Momma Told Me: (Almost) 27 Years And Still Trying To Answer The 'Hard' Questions

Sunday, August 11, 2013

(Almost) 27 Years And Still Trying To Answer The 'Hard' Questions

Citrus Balloon and Wine festival
Momma Asked Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?

When I was just a little girl it seems I was constantly asked a collection of the same questions. These simple, to any adult, questions, were true humdingers for a kid like me. Now, I don't want to get into existentialism, but I was the sort of kid who would tell you my favorite color was actually a mix of Blue and Red (Purple), rather than give you the straight answer. Along with this question it seemed I was always asked what was my favorite animal (because it wasn't obvious by the 2' stuffed porpoise I'd always be seen lugging around), and what I wanted to be when I 'grew' up.

hot air balloon flames
To me, especially now, as an adult, the term 'grown up' is almost a dirty one. At 26, and very much in a committed relationship, with a great family, I still carefully stack stuffed animals onto my bed each morning. Some may judge this and consider it 'immature'. But I argue that the nature of being 'grown up' is being able to make such decisions as bedroom decor, and the company I keep within it (whether human or plush). I'd also argue that I demonstrate just how 'grown up' I am each day when I clock into work, write the checks that pay the bills, get my oil changed (despite the inevitable 2 hour wait and hidden upcharge suggestions), and clean the dishes. In general, one measures adulthood by the amount of responsibilities one can take on. A good method of assessment, yes, but sometimes, in between the griping, we also need to stop and consider all of the wonderful things that come along with the task of 'being an adult.'

Panda Hot Air Balloon
All too often I turn to Sabrina(10) and tell her to quit complaining about being bored, not getting the toy she wanted, or having to go to school. I have to mute myself as my lips part to remark, 'Just wait until you're an adult!' In truth, it's not all that bad. Yes, I long for the days when my head sprung off the pillow in excitement for the day ahead, or the days when my head could rest lazily on that very same pillow for hours after sunrise. From time to time as I send the little ones to their naps I think, for just a moment, how nice it would be to be able to crawl into that bed with them and sleep the afternoon away. And every once in a while, as I'm parting with my hard earned cash to buy a $4 cupcake, or a mini penguin figurine, I recall what it was like to be spoiled myself. But the truth that can only come with the wisdom of time, and the outlook of positivity, is that I really have no regrets.
panda hot air balloon
Sure, there were nights when I was smaller I wish I'd cuddled with my father just a little longer; and there are specific events that play in my head like slow motion nostalgia- if I'd only stopped to take it all in just a moment more. But it's a simple fact that life is constantly fleeting. Every second is a true gift we can never replay, but should always hold with us. Every day is a great gift, for better or worse- and the majority of us are still walking around today very much confused as to what we were supposed to be, and if we ever made it.

So let me take a little guesswork out of the equation. The beauty of this life, and this country, is that we are free to go down any road, and try on any hat. Today I may be parent of the year, tomorrow I may be an aspiring chef, and in a year I may be best friend to someone in need. I might watch a million sunrises, snap a hundred sunsets, bowl a thousand games, eat the cuisine of 12 cultures, cry countless tears, and crack unlimited laughs. (Of the last two I am certain.) No day is the same, every love is unique, every breath is a gift. Whenever someone asks me what I want to be, what I want to do with my life, now a quarter century into it, I am still just as lost. So, instead of trying to look noble, or show off some fancy goals, I simply smile and say; "Someone who treasures every moment."

What Daughter Said: "A fish"- What would you expect a 4 year-old to say?

16 comments:

Ellen said...

What do I want to be when I grow up... that changed so many times when I was younger. Now, I just want to be happy where I am and always aware of the feelings of people around me.

Bre Dale said...

I've changed my mind a lot and still am not exactly sure what I wanna be, lol. But I love that Panda hot air balloon, btw.

Patty Woodland said...

Letting your child be able to give the same answer will be the greatest gift you can give.

Although fish is pretty cool too.

Suburban Style Challenge said...

I like your take on being a grown up :) Me? I love what I do (graphic designer), but I also love blogging and sometimes wonder if maybe working in the fashion industry would be something I'd be interested in doing down the road. But I guess one of the perks of being a grown up is being able to say "ok, time to do something else" when the time is right :)

AMBER EDWARDS said...

Such a beautiful story. You are always so eloquent.

I still struggle with this idea, because many times I don't think I'm grown up yet. And then other days I feel entirely ancient. lol.

I would love to be that person who enjoys every moment.

Lena B said...

That is hilarious. Never wanted to be a fish. I know my sister wanted to be a truck driver when she was little

Shelley Zurek -- Still Blonde after all these YEARS said...

I wanted to be a zillion things, I have been a zillion things (very few of what I thought I wanted), and I feel the fluidity has been great fun.

Kristyn said...

I still dont know what i wann be! just following where life leads me right now :)

Tiffany Dover said...

There's tons of things I want and can be yet I'm a housewife/mom right now. No time for school...I should have went to college when I had the chance but I don't know that I'll be able to now with two kids!

Sherry Butcher said...

I'd like to become a published Card Maker.
http://scrapbookingandcardmakingbysherry.blogspot.com/

Amanda T said...

You always have the best photos!

I am right there.. I have no idea what I want to be. Right now I'm just working as a supervisor at Sam's Club.. I want to do something meaningful though!

April @ PolkaDots n' PinkySwears said...

I'm just now figuring out what I want to be...and I'm 32 ;)

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

Hilarious! A fish is not one I wanted to be! I am also still figuring out what I want to be!

Michele P. said...

lol great post... while I never wanted to be a fish, I've changed my mind a few times over the years and am still trying to grow up and figure it out at 47. lol. Who knows? My daughter currently wants to be a teacher, she's 11, and loves school so that is her current dream.

Jasanna Czellar said...

Love this! I still don't know what I want to be either. =)

polly said...

Beautifully written. I am 61 and still think I want to change careers sometimes but I do love what I do. Reminded me of a friend years ago when her son was crying(he was 6 at the time) He said he wanted to drive an ice cream truck when he grew up. She asked why he was crying and he said he didn't know how he could pay for the truck...LOL