Here is a list of things I remember wanting to be when I was younger i.e. when I grow up I want to be a…
- Waitress I liked writing down food orders for my family and playing restaurant with my friends. I also had a name tag which had the letters of my name printed out in the colors of the rainbow. I pinned it on my shirt and thought that was pretty cool.
- Businesswoman I wanted a leather briefcase like my dad’s, and I wanted a big desk to sit behind on a chair that swirled around. I was also intrigued by a phone with different buttons you could push for different phone lines.
- Doctor I think this came from me wanting to bond with my grandfather, the doctor who I adored.
- Broadway Musical Star I think I might be tone deaf, but I loved going to the theater as a little girl, and I always left each show singing up the aisles, secretly wishing I could sing on stage.
- Lawyer I watched a lot of L.A. Law in high school, and much later Ally McBeal — plus there are a lot of lawyers in my family.
- History Professor I worshipped several history professors in college and seriously loved listening to their lectures — even during the early morning classes.
- Journalist I watched All The President’s Men— a lot. I also liked asking questions, doing research and writing things down in little spiral notebooks.
- Math Teacher This is kind of funny to me now because I can’t help my kids with their math homework (because they changed math) and also because I don’t think I’m good at it anymore. I used to be good at math in high school. I loved calculus. I enjoyed going up to the board and figuring out the answers to long problems. It felt so good when they were right.
- Mom I always wanted to be a mom because I loved being around my own mom so much, and she seemed to like being a mom when she was with me.
- Fashion Designer I was intrigued by Molly Ringwald making her own clothes in Pretty in Pink. I also thought it was cool how Punky Brewster developed her signature style even as a little girl. I imagined myself designing clothes for such people/characters in real life.
Here is a list of things I actually became when I eventually did grow up:
- Ad Sales Rep This was my first real job after college. I didn’t like it, and I wasn’t very good at it, but I did get a lot of free magazines.
- Camp Counselor I loved this job, and if I could still be a camp counselor, but not have to sleep in a cabin in the woods on a flimsy mattress with bats that live in the rafters overhead, then I would.
- Marketer This one covers several jobs. I had a summer internship in marketing for Bloomberg News, but I can’t really explain what I did there. I worked in marketing for years at Time Inc. and loved that job. It was so fun and challenging to work on major magazines that I had read for most of my life. I also worked in marketing for a firm that created print materials for independent schools and nonprofits. I worked for great people there.
- Author It’s still weird for me to write this/say this out loud, but it’s true and so I’m going to own it. My fourth book is coming out this year, and I am so excited about it. When I finished writing this one last year, I said that I didn’t have another book in me but now I think I do — maybe even several more?
- Wife: Although this is not technically a job, it is something I became when I grew up. I tell my husband that they named the television show The Good Wife after me. He laughs when I say this. I like being a wife, or at least I like being my husband’s wife, and I like making him laugh.
- Mom Turns out I do like being a mom. It is by far my most favorite job I’ve ever had. This sounds cliché and kind of cheesy, but it’s true. What can I say? I am a cliché.
- PR Professional I like telling people about stuff (places, products, happenings, news) and I love connecting people to things and other people who I think they will like/help them. When I read Malcom Gladwell’s The Tipping Point and learned about connectors, I realized that I am a connecter, and I think that’s why I liked working in PR for several years. I still recommend things to people and people to people, but no one pays me to do it anymore.
- Fundraiser No one ever paid me to raise money, but I’ve done it for many years volunteering to fundraise for an organization that my mother was involved with by working on an event named in her memory. This feels good, and I’ve learned that working with volunteers is very different than working with people who are getting paid to do their jobs. It’s not better or worse — just different
- Daughter Technically I’ve been a daughter my whole life, but it wasn’t until I grew up and became a different kind of daughter to my widower father that I knew this was a more serious thing to be — kind of like a job. My dad tells me I’m his boss, which is often true, and sometimes he is like a kid to me and also like a mother but mostly he’s my father.
- Sister Again not technically a job but a role that I value. It does take work to be a grown sibling and keep up a strong relationship with other grown sibling(s) you have, but as I tell my kids all the time, it’s so important. Your sibling(s) are the people who will know you for better or for worse your whole life, and if you are lucky, you get to go through the ups and downs of life with them.
- Friend My friendships mean a lot to me. I work at them. I am good at keeping in touch with my friends (or so I am told by my friends.) I feel so lucky to have made the friends I have. Life would be so not fun without them. My husband tells me I’m not allowed to make any new friends. I won’t let that stop me.
- Teacher I’ve taught creative writing and journaling to kids in schools and to adults in small classes. It was scary at first but then not scary at all and extremely rewarding. Teaching writing also made me realize I would be a bad math teacher.
- Journalist I covered stories for several years for The Philadelphia Jewish Exponent and a few other local papers when I finally was able to put my spiral notebook and questions to good use. I also used a Dictaphone, which I thought was pretty cool.
- Essayist I’m not sure if this is a real title, but I write a lot of essays for various publications. Similar to my feeling on writing books, when I complete an essay, I don’t think I can do another one, but I do. I have too many thoughts swirling around in my head, and I have to let them out somehow – essays seems to work.
- Baker I love to bake and I have been told I am good at it. Although I’ve never been any kind of professional baker, my chocolate chip cookies are a little famous in part because I wrote about them for The Huffington Post. Someone asked me how I got the interview for the baker of the cookies for that piece. I still laugh when I think of that question. I like corny jokes and one liners.
Here is a list of the things that I still want to be when I grow up even more:
- Social worker I am a secret (maybe not so much anymore) want to be social worker. I have few friends who are social workers, and I love talking to them about what they do. I like to help people and want to do more of this. I think that’s why I’ve volunteered for almost every nonprofit that has asked me to. I have thought about going back to school to get my MSW and even looked into a couple programs but have not taken it any further than that.
- Graphic Designer I love playing around on the computer programs (I sound like an old lady!) that I know, and I want to teach myself to use the more complicated ones. I’m intrigued by various fonts, colors and typography. I used to love to paint and draw when I was little, and people used to say that I would grow up to be an artist like my grandmother. That didn’t happen but maybe I could grow up to be a graphic artist?
- Podcaster Every time, I walk past the separate entrance to the unfinished A-frame space above my garage, I think to myself what an awesome podcast studio that space could be. I have a specific idea for my podcast. I’ve looked into the technology and equipment and started to write out some scripts, and I’ve put together a list of potential guests. Maybe I will finish that space one day?
- Grandmother It sounds funny to say this out loud (in my head) but I’d really like to be a grandmother one day. I can’t imagine my kids as parents, but sometimes when I’m day dreaming about what kind of grandmother my own mom would have been to my kids, I realize that me wanting to be a grandmother one day is maybe a way for me to make up for the relationship that my kids never got to have with her and so too for the one she never got to have with them.
- Knitter I knit scarves for myself and for friends, but I want to get better and more efficient at knitting and maybe even try to make sweaters one day. Sweaters are in fact my favorite clothing item, which is why I could never live anywhere where it’s really warm out all of the time. If I could knit my own sweaters, I’d feel so self-sufficient (and save a lot of money on my sweater purchasing habit.)
- Editor I enjoy editing my own work and helping friends edit their writing, but being a real professional editor sounds so cool to me. I have an idea for a project where I would edit other professional writers’ work, and I think I’m going to move forward with it after my next book comes out.
- Not Crappy Golfer I learned how to play golf five years ago. I enjoy playing golf even though I am a not good at it. I want to get better. I know this will take a lot of time and effort which I have not put into it yet. My husband tells me not to get so frustrated as people who have been playing golf their whole lives still have bad rounds. I am not sure if that makes me feel better or worse.
- Confident Cook While I love to bake and admittedly will follow any baking recipe, I have very little confidence in my cooking abilities. I cook dinner regularly for my family because apparently they have to eat every night, but I stick to a rotation of the same boring recipes. I’d like to branch out and maybe even cook while not following a recipe. I worship Ina Garten and own and have read through all of her cookbooks but have not tried as many of her recipes as I should.
- Professional Organizer I’m good at organizing and also cleaning out closets. A couple of summers ago, I did the whole Marie Kondo thing and got rid of all the stuff in my house that didn’t bring me joy even talking to some old sweaters and thanking them out loud before putting them in the donate pile. I think it would be fun to help other people organize their closets and houses.
It’s not cheaper to knit your sweaters so don’t fret about that! Great piece..💕👍❤️Arlene
Always enjoy your articles, thoughts, musings! Thanks for sharing it with us all. SR
Warm, witty, and honest.
I especially like the part about your father
Another fabulous…… relatable piece. Your talent in putting the perfect words on paper create such a picture in my mind. You are a star!!!!!