What I Wanted To Be When I Grew Up


20140608_173842_AndroidToday is my 50th birthday. The so-called career coaches and employment assistance experts would probably tell me not to reveal my age during my job search. To all these fountains of expertise, I’d like to say, “fuck off”. Yes, I did swear in my blog, but it’s my birthday and I’m giving myself permission to tell these know-it-alls where to go.

My thoughts today are of my childhood when I was asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. Originally, I wanted to be a doctor. I had a Visible Man model kit and read a lot of books about the human body. At the age of seven, I could tell you your liver was on the right side of your body and what was the difference between veins and arteries. As I grew older, I unfortunately learned that I did not have the grades to become a doctor. Don’t get me wrong: my grades were actually quite good, just not high enough to get into medical school. It was around that time my Dad brought home a TRS-80 Model I computer, and the rest as they say was history. I found I was very good with computers, and my interest turned into a career that spanned 20 years. I found at last what I wanted to be when I “grew up” and had no reason to revisit the journey taken to get there. Until now.

This is supposed to be a day of celebration. I have made life choices that not only led to a successful 20 year information technology career, I also became a law-abiding citizen, someone my friends and family members could count on. It’s just that I have lost what I wanted to be because of circumstances beyond my control, so that dulls my celebratory mood somewhat. I don’t have a full-time job. I don’t even have a home: I’m a couch-surfer travelling from city to city in search of work. The friends and family members that used to be my network to help me find a job are now offering a temporary place to sleep. I never believed, back in those innocent times, that something like this would ever happen to me. I had dreams and aspirations. What went wrong?

I’m also aware that I now have more years behind me than ahead of me. With this in mind, will I be able to turn things around before I become too old? What is my future going to be like? Is this my future, right now?

Remarkable. I’m back full-circle wondering about what I will be, now that what I wanted to be is no more. The only difference now is that the wondering is not from a child with parents right behind him in case he scuffs his knees playing, but from an adult who knows the situation he’s in is hardly make-believe and more frightening than any imaginary monster under his bed.

Thanks for reading!



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