What Will You Be When You Grow Up?

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Article by Wendy McCance

When I was a kid, I was often asked what will you be when you grow up.  It was such an enormous question.  I had so many things I wanted to do.  I mean, how do you narrow all of your interests down to one choice? How do you go about picking a career when you have no experience to base your decision on?  I honestly thought the question was pretty short-sighted.

As I got older, I defied the norms and decided I would do everything I wanted to do.  My theory was you only get one life so why would you pigeonhole yourself into a corner?  Live a full and satisfying life that will give you some terrific stories, fond memories and the ability to look back on your life and feel that it was a life well lived.

I remember trying to explain my view to several adults and I always got the same response, go to college, get a good paying job and work your way up the ladder.  That’s what they knew, what comforted them at night and what they felt was the responsible thing to do.

I spent many years feeling like a rebel, but not in a good way.  I would berate myself for having so much trouble conforming to the traditional ideal of what adulthood should look like.  Along the way, I had some of the best damn experiences of my life.  I wouldn’t trade a thing.  I just wish I had felt better about myself while I did things my way.

I now realize that I was lucky. I faced the fear of not doing things the way “I was supposed” to do them and followed my heart.  I see how society has changed and I feel that I am in some ways ahead of the curve.  I mean, where are the opportunities now?  Where is the certainty that you can grow with a company?  Where is the pension, the health benefits, the cushy corner office at the end of your journey?

Nowadays kids are strapped with huge college loans, fighting for jobs that have no security.  Forget the family friendly 9 - 5 hours, 5 days a week.  You will work when a company says jump and you will have to decide if you are devoted to the office or the family because, although you can have both, you can’t enjoy both.  The company will become your life, you have signed over your life to them.  Please sign here in blood and pray for a decent income to support that family you will never see.

Then, there are the misfits. I am a misfit who dared to enjoy my life and pick and choose what I would do based on what interested me.  Who can say that anymore?  Find a job you love?  Why that’s just irresponsible.  You are supposed to find the job that pays well and pray you can tolerate the work.

So, over the years I have touched on some fabulous jobs.  I have learned a lifetime of interesting things because I have been all over the map.  I loved the years I sold wine and spirits.  The job even won me a trip to Italy to spend a week meeting some top-notch wine makers and touring all over the country all expenses paid.  I worked at a truck plant for several years and worked my ass off.  I learned what inner and outer strength I posses.  The craziest most unbelievable stories that can be told came from my years working in that factory.

I was an interior designer, bartender, real estate agent, medical lab tech, beer account manager and more.  Now with a slew of stories and a full background, it makes sense that I am writing.  Hell, writing web content for a variety of companies is simple with my background.

As I get older, I continue to search out new experiences.  The difference now is that I love writing more than anything I have ever done.  This is the career I was meant to do.  I can say this with certainty because I have had enough experiences in my life to know for sure that this is it.

I do know that the one piece that is missing from that perfect fit is the amount of music I am touching on.  I have always been pulled towards music.  If I had any ability to sing, I would have certainly been in a band.  It would have been my ultimate dream.  Sadly for me, there is no way to practice and perfect a singing voice.  It’s either there or not.  I don’t have it and feel uncomfortable even singing happy birthday on those special occasions.

In 2014 I had some fabulous times interviewing some amazing musicians and songwriters.  I realized that songwriting would be the perfect thing to pursue.  I mean, what a blast to mix my two favorite things, writing and music and blend them.  This will be my year to touch on those musical aspirations.  I know just by putting my thoughts out into the atmosphere, some amazing things will soon be coming my way.  Stay tuned.  I’ll let you know. 🙂

Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]
Wendy McCance

9 thoughts on “What Will You Be When You Grow Up?

  1. That sounds exciting, Wendy, exploring writing music. I think you’ll be good at it, too. I’ve also done many things though I don’t think I had the free-spirit will like you.

    I still had one foot in the generation where you get a job for security and don’t think about such things as to what I would love to do. I’m just now finding that courage to jump off the bandwagon and find my own way.

    Like you, I think this will be a new year for that — let’s “invite the miraculous” together and see what happens.

      • Hi Wendy - I guess that would be surprising that I would be cautious. Guess I never knew there was any other way except following the rules. The last thing I ever wanted to do was attract more attention to me than I thought I was attracting already. I didn’t think it could be a good thing.

        I’m excited, too, for the New Year and what we’ll both encounter. It’s going to be interesting that’s for sure and fun. 🙂

  2. As a child I never thought about what I would do when I grew up, I just went with the flow. When I ask my grandsons what they want to be when they grow up sometimes I get interesting answers like “taller” or ” something not boring” other times I get answers like”cop” or ” mechanical engineer”. The granddaughter tells me she wants to be a teacher or a mum

  3. I understand where you are coming from on this. Although I am a generation older than you, I too was in that same situation. I got a college degree in Teaching, in Industrial Education, the are that I enjoyed in High School in the early 1960’s. Like many men in my generation, we went into teaching as a way to gain a student, then occupational deferment to stay out of Vietnam. I realized after just on semester of teaching that I did not belong in that profession, but it took me 15 years to get out of it. By then I realized that I was more like my Dad, who was a Business Owner all of his life, or as he would say, except for the 2 years that he was in the Army during WWI.

    I had started many different part time small businesses, none of which went anywhere, while I was still teaching. Then I finally took my passion in the Car Hobby and working on cars, and started a part time Body and Repair Shop Business with the intent that it would become a full time business. I also at that same time got into Real Estate Investment and Renovation. So finally I was using my college backgrounds in the Building Trades and Automotive Fields in the way that I enjoyed. When I finally gave up teaching, I had many people who would say, Don’t you miss Teaching. My reply was Yes, but not in the way you are thinking.

    For a short while I thought I had my life on track, but a Divorce, changed all that, and not for the better, for a few years. Even though I was struggling both financially and in most other areas, I continued to follow my path a business owner, because I knew, like my dad that I did not want to work for anyone else except myself. Thirty years later, I can say that I held true to that belief. Along the way I met a Wonderful Woman that I married, and all though things have not always been easy, we have survived almost 32 years together, nearly have been married nearly 30 years.

    The key to this is to have a plan of what you want your life to be. The details you figure out as you go along, that way any changes that need to be made, you are ready to and able to make them. You can’t be Inflexible. The other thing that I have found out, it that you must put all of this in the Lord’s hands, because there are many things that are not possible with only your own strength.

    • Thank you so much for sharing such a personal experience. It’s wonderful when a reader will give a peek into their own life. I truly believe that there is a correlation between career and relationship success to how well you understand yourself and what you truly want. Unfortunately the way society is put together you have many well-meaning people trying to push others down a path that feel is the right one. People are rarely given the opportunity to find their own place without the voices of others ringing in their ears. It clouds your thoughts and creates confusion over who you are and what you like.

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