When I was a little girl, I wanted what most people wanted when I grew up. I wanted to be a ballerina. Or an actress. Or a nurse. Or a teacher. At one point I wanted to be the President of the United States.
In high school, we took a lot of aptitude tests to help us decide what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives. It’s definitely been a while since then. I’m pretty sure my tests told me that I would be best suited as a social worker or a teacher.
I thought about being a social worker. After all, my grandmother was one, and became a chemical dependency counselor. I loved my grandma, and I talked to her about it. She told me that she became a chemical dependency counselor because the social work was too hard, emotionally. She had a really difficult time leaving the cases at work, and following the rules when all she really wanted was to help people. That resonated very strongly with me. I didn’t think I would be able to forget the cases and leave them at work.
I thought about being a teacher. I had taught Sunday school, and had fun with that. And it might be a way to have a theater job and actually have a (mostly) steady paycheck. I took an education class at University – one of the required classes for a teaching degree. It frustrated me to no end. “Write a paper discussing the pros and cons of corporal punishment using only the articles that we provide for reference. Oh, and all of them are against it.”
Excuse me? I’m definitely not pro-corporal punishment. However, if you want me to discuss the pros AND cons, you need to let me use references on both sides of the issue.
That’s just the one assignment I remember. Over all, I remember feeling like the class was just conditioning to “this is the acceptable way to think” if you want to be a teacher. Indoctrination versus critical thinking. (Also, I have major respect for teachers! That was definitely not the way to hook me, though.)
Somewhere along the line I had the fantasy of being a priestess. But that was just a fantasy, right?
Fast forward a few years, and here I am. A priestess. That thing I never thought I would be. I’ve trained to be a life coach, which is kind of like being a social worker, except way more fun! Through my work as a priestess, I am both a counselor and a teacher. My theater degree allows me to be comfortable memorizing rituals, as well as standing up in front of people and speaking.
I honestly never thought when I was younger that this would be my life. And now it feels so comfortable, and right. I’m grateful for the education and experiences of my childhood and early adulthood that have led me here.
What did you want to be when you were young? And how is that showing up in your life now?