What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?
It’s funny how life has a way of… oh, I don’t know; getting you lost. I remember incredulously staring at other children in grade school wondering how it was that they seemed to have life figured out. They already knew what they wanted to be when they grew up – by the age of 6! My God. All they had to do was take the bull by the horns and go after it! These children were driven go-getters with more purpose than I could ever dream of.
That was so far beyond whom I ever was.
As I grew out of childish dreams to become a princess, actress, or horseback rider, the problem then became what did I want to be when I grew up? I worked my way through high school without ever really coming to a solid answer to that damnable question. My solution was to continue my schooling in the subjects where I did best, so university English courses filled my schedule to garner me a good all-around BA.
No specific career paths there either though unfortunately.
Take Steps, No Matter How Small
I managed to dodge the bullet of what I wanted to become once more when I fled the country upon graduation. I justified my flight by reasoning “how could I become something concrete, when I didn’t even know who I was?” Logic was at the base of this argument, however juvenile it might have sounded to others at the time. Finding my roots, and a little more, in Africa was something I am proud I accomplished though. I spent 10 months scouring southern Africa with friends, family, and sometimes alone. It helped to give me perspective on the world and my place in it.
But did it give me a career path? Not exactly.
This time I managed to find direction which paid off though. And I knew the path was right. One thing I learned while travelling is that sometimes you need to look for the signs. Moving to a lodge in central Ontario ended up being exactly the right decision and led me to the path I wander on today.
I now realize that there have been many chapters along the way. Schooling was one, as was my trip through Africa. My stint in Burke’s Falls introduced me to my future husband. He eventually brought me to London, where we started a life and a family. As every new door opened, I struggled and stammered, but eventually made my way through and into the next phase of life. When my chapter ended with Brad, I felt too incredibly lost to ever move on to a new stage, but somehow found myself on the other side of grief, eventually.
There’s Always a Next Chapter
And wouldn’t you know, but in my next chapter I started to write it all down. I had always jotted notes to myself along the way, but it took my husband’s death and some well-placed signs to crack open the door to my next phase. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but those words that flowed along in the background finally took center stage. For now I am a writer. And it makes sense that I had always wanted to be exactly that, but never saw it, never understood that dream. I had to live a little. I had to work through early chapters. I had to step through doors and find my way again.
Because maybe all we need is life to give us that nudge sometimes, to push us into the next chapter. We don’t always have to have all the answers of what is around the next bend or where life will lead us. For you never know what your story holds until you turn the page…