When I Grow Up I Want To Be…

Written by: | Thursday, February 14th, 2013

This post is from Kate Forte, a senior at AZ State College, majoring in Event Planning.

I remember sitting on the colorful carpet in preschool, surrounded by favorite stuffed animals, shapes and other runny-nose kids. This was the spot I remember being asked for the first time, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Clearly at this age, patience is not yet a virtue, so everyone belted out, “Princess!” “Superhero!” “Lion Tamer!” and as fun as these all sound, I can guarantee not one of us turned out to be any of these things. Last time I checked, Kate Middleton was not in my class picture, and Spiderman is still just a comic book, so I don’t feel too guilty that my desired occupation has changed over the years.

It all started with wanting to be an artist. My parents supported my creativity with sketch books, pencils, easels…etc., but in the end, stick figures just would not cut it for the big leagues. I then decided I wanted to pursue a career as a professional dancer after attending a fine arts middle and high school. But alas, this was not quite the right fit for me. I explored personal training next based on my passion for fitness, but decided this was really just a better hobby for me. I was getting frustrated trying to find the right focus for me until I realized each of my career aspirations at the same underlying focus: event planning and customer service. I do not regret the out-of-the-box thinking or other choices I’ve made because each one has guided me on the path to discover where I should be. It takes perseverance and focus to sort through all the things that we can be to find the thing that we should be.

As we’ve all heard, there should be no regrets, just lessons learned, and boy, did I learn my lesson with my attempt at art!

So here are some thoughts to others like me:

  • Surround yourself with those who support you.
  • Surround yourself with positivity – look for opportunities everywhere.
  • Create a dream job on paper; if it doesn’t exist, how can you create it?
  • Remember you were born awesome – not at everything, but at some things.
  • Experience everything you can – it is how you see things that fit you and things that don’t fit you.
  • Commit to doing something that you love.

The phrase “when I grow up” is appropriate for preschoolers, but we do not necessarily need to “grow up” to reach our dreams – in fact we should never grow up. We should stay excited about building our future at every age.

So instead, I am using the phrase “I want to be…” This gives me focus to use my college and life experiences to get ready. It also allows me some flexibility to change when I discover new things that may fit me better.

What do you want to be? What will it take to get there? And what is stopping you from doing so? Try things, find the right things and be what and who you want to be.

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