The Hindsight Notes: To Be or Not To Be

18 Mar

The Hindsight Notes is a recurring section created for all you readers wanting to participate in THL, but lacking time to write a full letter. Each Note is composed of a question. All you need to do is answer it, in the form of a comment (below).

This week’s topic is: When you were a teenager, what did you want to be “when you grew up”?

Adolescence is like a 7 year long endurance test, laden with career related pressure. We’re told that every test, essay, and exam is leading us one step closer  to (or further away from) the University of our choice or our dream career.

So, given the fact that career choice and goals are such an important element in the adolescent experience, we want to know, what did you want to be? Have you become it? Why? Why not? Are you happy with your decision?

As always, I’ll start us out:


If you liked this post, you’ll surely love this one and this one!



13 Responses to “The Hindsight Notes: To Be or Not To Be”

  1. thehindsightletters March 18, 2011 at 6:02 am #

    This is an interesting and complicated question for me. Growing up, my parents really, really, really wanted me to be a doctor (see Letter 16: Yes, But What Do You Want To Be?). So, most of my adolescence was viewed as a path to medical school. I can remember so many conversations with my Mother involving the words “How will you get into medical school if…” as if the University of Toronto would be combing through my grade 7 algebra midterms to determine my acceptance.

    I, however, was not convinced that I wanted to be a doctor. I flip flopped. I thought I might be a psychologist. I loved to write, but I was painfully afraid of failure so instead of going into Journalism or Creative Writing, I became an English major. I got a job working for a big corporation doing communications. Yippee.

    There was one thing that I always wanted to be, from birth through adolescence to adulthood. But it’s not a very popular career path. It’s not one that people really aspire to. It’s not one that people “Ooh” and “Ahh” over at academic dinner parties. It’s kind of old fashioned and right wing. In fact, it’s a career that people fought for years and years so that they wouldn’t have to do it. And you do it for free. So, I was always embarrassed to admit that, in my heart of hearts, it was the only thing in the world that I truly, truly wanted to do.

    You can’t really tell your guidance counsellor “I want to be a stay-at-home-mom”. But I always have. I wanted to be that lady covered in baby spit up with chunks of play doh in my hair. I wanted to create a perfect little person and be blessed enough to be there for every moment of their early years.

    And here I am. I know it’s not glamourous. I know it’s not academic, intellectual or noble. But it’s the greatest job I’ve ever had. So I guess following my heart was actually the right thing to do. Who knew?

    • Anna Walker March 18, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

      While I have no desire to be a mom, I totally understand, as my sister has always been just like you. She loves babies and children and all she ever wanted was to be a mom, and now that she has a beautiful little baby she’s in heaven.

  2. 2blu2btru March 18, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    I went through a few possible careers, but I always, always wanted to be a writer. In the fifth grade, when we had to talk about what we wanted to be when we grew up, I chose two careers: writer and relationship therapist. People always asked me for relationship advice. I went to school and graduated with a degree in English Literature. And now…

    I work for a homeowner’s insurance company. *womp womp waaaa* I still want to be a writer, but it just hasn’t happened yet. I graduated and needed a job, so I got a job at a bank, got fired, went to a placement agency, and was sent here. I’ve been here ever since (2 yrs. and 4 months later).

    However, I do still write. In fact, my main blog here is on…relationships. I’m still giving people advice on relationships. That’s what I love about blogging, it made my dream come true (only, not in a form where I’m paid for it, yet ;-))

    • thehindsightletters March 18, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

      It sounds to me like you ARE pursuing your dream, regardless of whether or not you have a separate day job 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing (and for all your support of THL on your awesome blog!)

  3. briannagoldberg March 18, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    I never consciously had an ideal of what I wanted to be and followed the path. Instead, I’m one of those people who took the advice to “follow your dreams” quite literally.
    Most of the time, my dreams are bizzarro, symbolic and abstract. But I remember in Grade 13, I was taking a law class and in a dream one night I was visited by (Canadian) Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin who told me in no uncertain terms to go to law school. You don’t argue with a Chief Justice, so I went to University and focused on subjects that would lead me to law school, including one in criminology and law. I was speaking with my professor from it one day after class and he said that actually the best way to get into law school was to get stellar marks in your classes… so I dropped the criminology courses I was getting B+’s in, instead pursued English classes which I did get stellar marks in… and then one night a certain Canadian singer of adult contemporary music who shall remain nameless ALSO appeared to me in a dream, telling me to go to journalism school. And so I did… and now I’m a journalist.
    So, thanks, dreams?

    • thehindsightletters March 18, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

      Ha! I love this! May I also just share with our readership the fact that you then, during your career as a journalist, interviewed said “Canadian singer of adult contemporary music who shall remain nameless” and shared with her the fact that she was your spirit guide?! Talk about full circle!

  4. Anna Walker March 18, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    Ever since I was 12 years old I’ve wanted to be a chemist, and here I am. Am I happy with my decision? Most of the time, yes. Occasionally I get very sad that I didn’t go to medical school, since that was something I always wanted to do in a I-want-to-be-a-rock-star-but-not-really sort of way.

    • thehindsightletters March 21, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

      I think Chemist sounds like a super cool job! (Whenever I hear the word “Chemist” I think about Walt on “Breaking Bad”. I love that show!) Good for you for sticking it out and following your dream.

  5. Nikki March 30, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

    My whole childhood was spent wanting to be a high school teacher. Then I tried tutoring when I was in twelfth grade and came to the sudden realization that I hate explaining things to people. I’d be a terrible teacher, really. So I went to college not really knowing what I wanted, and made it throughstill not knowing. I workeda handful of admin jobs since then, but now I’m far more content as a stay at home mom to two boys. But I’ve figured it out. next year I’m going grad school to study library science.

    • thehindsightletters April 1, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

      Good for you, going back to school! Very interesting choice too. And I agree, being a stay-at-home Mom is super awesome 🙂

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