The clearest memory I have of aspiring to be something specific upon entering proper adulthood is that I was quite torn between being a supermodel and a veterinarian. I have a vivid vision of the drawing I did in 4th grade for the assignment to depict what you want to be when you grow up – me in some sort of prom-like dress standing next to a fancy car. I’m almost positive this was leaning in the supermodel direction, but I suppose vets can be rich and fancy too. Other memories are dabbled with lists of the 42 animals I would own and care for with my mad vet skills, and beyond that I’m not sure I had any youthful career-oriented passions. I focused on getting the best grades possible and just assumed I’d figure it out someday. I had many friends that were far more organized with their future plans, and my feelings toward this were that of envy coupled with scoffing, as in you’re a nerd for caring so much about engineering but also I wish I cared as much as you did, now pass me the one hitter. Hypothetically of course.
At some point late in high school I decided I was going to be a math teacher and so this was my major upon arriving at university. Math. It sounds weird to say it like that. Math was my major. Seems too easy. Easy, however, it was not. Semester one was Calc I, and that was a breeze, but then came Calc II and I was headed down the path to C-ville when I made the decision to part ways with my “career plans.” Getting a C was not something I had the ability to cope with, and after a solid effort at improving this (I even went to office hours for EXTRA learning!), I put my interest in social drinking well ahead of my mathematical ambitions and dropped the class. What next? I employed the classic close your eyes and point method for deciding one’s future and wound up in the business school with a focus on marketing. A’s all the way and I barely had to study. Okay, I actually studied some, but mostly I’m just really good at school, and so I graduated in May of 2004 with a 4.0 and a bonafide BS in Marketing. Funny how we wound up with such an acronym for that degree, eh? I guess the alternative meaning of BS is more appropriately associated with that 4.0, which isn’t to say I didn’t actually achieve it, but more so that it means absolutely nothing in the real world. Perhaps I should have stuck with that C in Calc II because lord knows I’ve got enough patience to teach America’s favorite subject (perhaps tied with Geography) to a bunch of youngins who’d rather be doing just about anything else than solving an equation. BS.
In the end it all worked out because here I am with a kickass job running a company that I helped build from the garage up. Literally. I feel like I had a purpose here? Oh yes! The kids! It all comes back to them. At the very mature ages of 2.5 and 4.5, I’m a little disappointed in the efforts they’ve put forth to determine their life goals, but I will give them credit for putting some thought into it. The first ever mention of what either child wanted to be upon growing up was a recent phase Norah went through when she declared her destiny to become a tooth fairy. The conversation usually went like this:
N: Mommy, when I grow up, I’m going to be a tooth fairy. Crosby, what do you want to be when you grow up?
C: A dinosaur.
Well played. And then the other night, a fresh idea…
N: I don’t want to work when I grow up. I just want to be the boss of my kids. Or maybe a fire girl.
Two reasonable and viable options, and I remain enthralled to see where her adorably bright little mind lands next. Whatever her vocation, she seems already to have some semblance of an understanding of the value of money, and after shoving a few dollar bills into her Norah sized handbag, turned to me and precociously observed, “It’s silly that I have money at the age I am, isn’t it!”