What do you want to be when you grow up?
This is a question everyone will be asked at one point in their lifetime. And at a certain point in your life you will be obligated to answer that question with something that is considered realistic. This answer will be judged by your teachers, your friends and your family, so much so that it seems to cloud your judgement on the real question at hand.
What will make you happy for the rest of your life?
“I want to be a writer.” This will result in a response most likely like, “writers don’t make a lot of money.”
Maybe you want to write poetry or be a magician. Maybe you really do want to be a rockstar or an astronaut.
I think this question should be rephrased, or taught to be answered differently. Like, “what do you love to do?”
My answer would be, “take photos of the world and write about it.” What a career that would be.
We seem to teach young people that you can’t be successful or happy without money. But I find the reality to resemble the exact opposite. Some of the richest people are the most unhappy, and some of the poorest people in life are the most happy, because they’re abundant in life and find happiness in the bigger picture of life.
To me, happiness is success. If I were to write the definition of success in my own words, it would be when you’ve reached true happiness and have discovered where you fit into the puzzle of this great, big world.
There are too many angry, unhappy people in the modern world. People that have a one track mind that speaks work, work, work and money, money, money instead of simply LIFE.
We’re not born to work and die. I believe we’re meant to explore the world, never stop learning and have new adventures and experiences every day. Life is about finding what makes you happy and what makes you, you.
We prepare our entire lives around getting a job. From pre-school, elementary school, jr. high school, high school to college and even further. We’re taught to believe that our jobs are our lives. That we need to grow up and get a good job and work hard. But what if we learned the basics and were taught to just grow in the things we loved and exceed in those things.
What if someone never had access to a canvas and water colors for their whole lives, but one day discover when their 30 that they love it and they are amazing at it. What if schooling was based around discovering our true talents instead of filling our heads with the image of success in the modern world? Imagine how much more creativity and happiness the world would have.
I have gone from wanting to be a rockstar, to a mermaid, an airline pilot to a pharmacist to a news broadcaster, and I’m sure that there’s things in between, but here I am today, hoping I can write and photograph the world for a living somehow.
When I had come close to graduating from college with a degree in Journalism, the question, “what are you going to do?” became the question that I answered with something that I didn’t fully believe in for a long time. I wonder if anyone else had noticed how non-passionate my responses were. I had answered this question with a lie for so long that it began to make me stressed the closer I came to graduation. I started taking photography classes and some creative writing classes and discovered that I really enjoyed these things, I became so much happier and it suddenly became clear that I couldn’t fool myself any longer. This is the rest of my life I’m talking about.
Now I know the next time that I am asked this question, it will be different and it will cause questions and doubts. But as long as I am doing what makes me happy, I feel confident in what I have to say as a response.
Expectations are the cause to all stresses, and money is the root of all evil.
Feeling confident in what makes me happy and excelling in that hobby is the most freeing experience I’ve ever felt, and I have never been so happy.
Everyone seems to question how and when you’ll find yourself in life, I believe that is when.