It’s official, I’m a grown up.
For years now I’ve been putting off deciding what I want to be when I grow up, saying “well, I’ll have to wait until the kids are in school full-time before I can figure that out.” Well, guess who started Gr. 1 today? And here I am with less of a plan today than I had 20 years ago, on my last first day of highschool.
See this? This picture was taken when I was 17, on my first day of OAC. When I look at this photo I see a cute little smarty pants in a kilt (although, I didn’t think I was so cute at the time.) Back then, I thought I had it all figured out. I was going to be a famous newscaster, never get married. The idea of being a stay-at-home-mom never crossed my mind. Kids? Hells no! Nobody was going to keep me down!
It’s easy to get nostalgic on this first day of school and feel bewildered about how differently my life turned out from what this girl had planned.
I so much smarter then! I was more focused, my memory was 1000 x better, and honestly, I think I just knew more. I kind of miss being her. I was so lucky! I had good parents, great friends and school was usually pretty easy for me.
But when I look past the too-cool-for-school smirk and frizzy hair, I can still feel that ripple of uncertainty that marked my youth. I was so excited to finish highschool but was I good enough? smart enough? pretty enough to make it? Would I get into journalism school? Would I ever find a boyfriend?
I may mourn my drive and my book smarts occasionally, and even laugh about how the babies ate my brain, I suppose there are some pretty important lessons I’ve learned along the way. I know because as much as I envy the girl in this photo, I also want to shake her and tell her to chill the fuck out! Stop worrying about the future and just have fun. Oh, and that boyfriend she’s going to meet in a couple of months? Meh, don’t take him so seriously.
So no, I still don’t know what I want to be what I want to be when I grow up. Journalism? Writing? Are these what the future holds for me? Twenty years later I’m not so sure. But I’m here now. This is what I am. And the older and wiser me know that’s what counts.