When I Grow Up

As a child, when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, the question didn’t scare me. The sky was the limit to me, and as a young child, of course, I had answers that most children would have.

Princess! No, cheerleader! No, wait.. A singer! Dancer!

Of course, as a child, I totally believed I would become a princess (and, being totally real here, sometimes I feel like one), and could do anything I wanted. As I grew older, I realized my love for books and reading, and I loved going to school. I loved summertime, but back to school time was the absolute best! New books and notebooks, pencils and markers! Everything, brand new. I would spend the summers playing school with my friends in the basement, making pretend math quizzes and spelling tests, and sending the kids for “recess” when we all decided to go outside and play Four Square. (Please, tell me you guys used to play that too!)

Sure, we had our other scenarios- playing “House,” going “shopping” with all of those fake credit cards adults get in the mail (seriously, we had like 100 of them!), and quite a few other things, but the most vivid memories I have of being a child are when we played “School.” I wasn’t always the teacher, since I had to let other people have their time to shine, but we always had a blast!

I’m going to backtrack for a second. I went to an in-home daycare with a bunch of other kids, and there was two main groups of us. One, the younger toddlers/kids who always had to stay upstairs and within eyesight, and they were all perfectly content playing together up there. And two, the Big Kids. The main playroom was upstairs, and our lair was in the basement, and we called it the Big Kids Playroom. In the basement, there was no shortage of things to do- there were a couple actual school desks, a giant bookshelf, plenty of dress up clothes, old menus, and plenty more that I’m sure I’ve forgotten after all of these years. While I loved to pretend play “School,” I had decided then that I wanted to be a teacher. What could be better than a childhood dream come to life, right? And it was totally doable… unlike being a princess…

Anyway, moving forward.

For a long time, I did want to be a teacher. I even had the opportunity to shadow my friend Brittany’s mom, who was a second grade teacher. I had a pretty awesome time, I helped kids with a few different things, but the most memorable thing I helped with was doing their math boxes. Do any of you remember those? Basically, this was a math workbook with a problem in a box, and there were at least five or six to a page. I used to think those were hard… and yet, when I took Pre-Calculus in high school, I wished life was as easy as when all I had to worry about was solving the simple problems in the math boxes!

As I progressed through high school, I realized that maybe, I didn’t want to be a teacher after all. Graduation snuck up on me, and before I knew it, I was graduating- without a plan. The only thing I knew by the time I had graduated high school is that I decided to go to a local community college, instead of a four year university, and people still asked me the famous question:

“What are you going to do when you grow up?”

As a child, the question never scared me. But now, even at 22 years old, I am scared. College didn’t work out so well for me, I made friends with my roommates and their friends quickly, and I stopped going to class (sorry, Mom). While I was in college, I changed my mind a few times on what I wanted to do- I started studying to be a paralegal, and then decided I didn’t enjoy the classes as much as I previously thought. Then, since I was working at an urgent care at the time, I figured I would study to be a medical assistant- but I found that even though I worked around it daily, I hate blood and body fluids! Then came business, radiology technician, healthcare administration..

And then, I dropped out of college altogether.

If you would have told me this at 15 years old, I would tell you that you’ve got the wrong girl, that I’m going to college no matter what, and that I’m going to do something with my life. Now that I’m older, and looking back on choices I’ve made, I know I could have done way worse. But I’m also glad I’ve done what I have, because now I have years of experience in the medical field, and am able to start going somewhere with a job, even without a degree. Will I go back to school in the future? Sure. But until I am one hundred percent sure of what I want to do and I’m not going to change my mind again, I am happy with what I’m doing.

I remember when I told my mom and my aunt about it, they were okay with my decision, just as long as I worked full time, and got back into school within a year. Sure, I didn’t go back to school within a year, but I have worked full time consistently since 2013, and I moved out into my own place with Isaac when I was 20 years old.

Sometimes, when I’m feeling low, I can’t help but think how much I could have possibly messed up. But other times, I’m happy that I did things the way I want to. I’m in my own space, working happily, and I’ve met some great people along the way, including Isaac, and I realize that if I had gone to a four year college, if I had literally done anything differently than the way I did, I would not be the same person I am now, I wouldn’t have met the people I did, learned the things I did. And what’s better, is I don’t regret anything.

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