Friday, September 23, 2016

I need you to need me

I was around 15 years old, going somewhere in the car with my mom.  She asked me,
"What do you think you want to be when you grow up?"

Of course I'd been asked that before.  Seems like from first grade on, we had to write a paper every school year to answer just that question.  I'd never had any clear cut ideas, anything I KNEW I was destined for.  But I always remember that I wanted to do something useful.  Does that count as a thing?

And by that time of her question, I wasn't in elementary school anymore where we'd write about three sentences and then draw a picture of our career of choice.

I remember thinking that I should probably give my mom an answer.  To ease her mind that I wouldn't be a spinster living at home forever.  I told her I thought maybe I'd like to be an architect, maybe...

I detected a sense of relief from her.  Apparently I'd given a favorable response, unlike say, "barmaid", "snake charmer", "pole dancer"...

In fact, it seemed like I was better at knowing what I didn't want to be.  That seemed like a shorter list.  For example, I wouldn't want to work in sales.  Trying to reach quotas every month, trying to always "get to 'yes'", travelling all over to meet with clients.  Not my cup of tea.  The competition, the schmoozing, the somewhat conniving connotations

So I went to engineering school which I actually enjoyed except for the lack of a social life and the first few days of classes and...

But even that business calmed down after a while.  And in case anybody's wondering what it's like to be one of five girls in a classroom with 95 guys, it's not as good as it sounds.  But it does make it more likely to be picked for a photo to accompany a magazine article on your somewhat well-known professor.  And you will be paid a very handsome sum of one black and white photo.

Eventually, though, after a few group projects and such, the engineering guys learn that the engineering girls are just people.  Plus, they learn that the typical engineering girl doesn't really have time to spend on hair and makeup, nor does she want to.  The business school was the next one over.  Those girls spent more time on their appearance and would probably be good at sales.

At that point, it's safe for an engineering girl to agree to marry one of the engineering guys.  *ahem*.  We understand each other.

So I went to work and was useful, and it was good.  I liked my job.  I liked my coworkers. I liked my paycheck.  Mom was happy.

But then babies started to arrive...

and I realized I'd be more useful taking care of them.  So I did...

Now, they're all big and independent.  So it's time to grow up and be useful again.


Linking up with MamaKat this week for the prompt:
2. Something you wanted to be when you grew up



  1. So does that mean there are changes in the air? That laptop meme cracked me up. I bet caring for your kids involved a little more than laying on a couch. Like watching day-time TV and other exhausting activities. :D

    1. Exhausting, yes. And eating bon-bons. We're supposed to do that, right? Changes in the air? False. Nitrogen, Oxygen, Argon, and Carbon Dioxide are in the air.

  2. You've certainly succeeded in being useful. And I got a pretty good idea you'll continue to be. Exciting to start being a grown up again, isn't it?
    Growing up, I'd always wanted to be a teacher, but it seemed my dad was disappointed by that. Never did figure out why. Maybe he knew I'd be happier as a hotel manager?

    1. I think our parents just sorta watched to see what would happen. My dad told me he wasn't going to say anything unless I said I wanted to be a "hairdresser or something".

  3. My dad wanted me to be an engineer, but nooooo, I had to be an artist. Dad might've been right that it makes a better hobby? Sorry I dropped out or a while without communicating. Sometimes I just don't want to participate in life and hole up for a while. Loving the visuals in this post. The childbirth actually made me laugh out loud.

    1. From what I know about you, you'd make a fine engineer. There is plenty of "art" there to be had :)
      Good to see you, I've been watching for you! There are some creative people who've done weird things with pumpkins.

  4. Growing up and BE useful...
    I never thought of that.
    I am so selfish I never thought of being useful.

    1. But admit it... you're useful.

    2. But admit it... you're useful.