Grown Up

I was maybe six, maybe seven years old when the conversations began happening on a different level:  "What do you want to be when...

I was maybe six, maybe seven years old when the conversations began happening on a different level: 
"What do you want to be when you grow up?" 
"A wife. A mum." 
I wriggled shyly before I went on,  
"And have some kids. Like seven. Yeah. Seven kids." 

I don't remember when I guess it must be appropriate for me to move on from that answer. I just remember too many people saying, "Oh... that's nice. But what do you want to be?" I think it was at the tender age of eight that I realized that, in other minds, being a wife and mother just wasn't considered... enough. So of course, being the people-pleaser that I was, I learned to quickly reshape my answer to something I thought would be considered less 'silly,' but I couldn't quite understand why so many of the adults who asked me hid their own smiles privately as they glanced at others who happened to be listening or a part of the conversation. 

"What do you be?" 
"I want to go to China. I want to be a missionary. I want to to be a world-traveller and write books. I want to help people. I love being on a stage. I want to be an animal trainer." At eight years old, I had decided to forego the 'be' portion of the question nearly entirely, since clearly that was not what anyone really wanted to hear. 

All things on my mind, of course. 
But not something that I wanted to be, and devote my life to. 

"What do you want to do?" 
The second question attacked me at the ripe old age of fourteen. 
I changed it again. Wife and mother still wasn't enough, apparently. 
"I want to change- myself. I want to see the world. I need to act on a stage or on a screen if I possibly can. I want to write books and go all the places I possibly can.  With my husband and seven children," I added mentally. 
"What do you want to do for school?

As if anyone knew what they wanted to do with their life at fourteen years old. I didn't even know how to drive. 

"Well. I want to write, I want to act, I want to photograph, I want to teach piano, I want to...I want to nanny. I still have a list of places I'm going to adventure to. So whatever helps me do and enjoy my life...I'm going to be studying Liberal Arts." 

Two years later, I switched to studying English. I also had decided I didn't want seven kids anymore. After nannying, babysitting, teaching, and enjoying the kidlets, I knew I couldn't handle seven unless God somehow gave me the patience, peace of mind, and (let's be real) stamina, to handle them. Three was the new number. 

Three years passed. At the core of my being I heard the nagging the question: 'you're almost done with college! What do you want to do now?" 
I know. I knew. 

And I know how looked down on it is sometimes, in our day and age. So when people asked me, what it all came down to was, "Well, I don't want to pay bills and die. Let me tell you what I'm doing as I enjoy my life; let me tell you how I'm doing it, how I'm working for myself, how God has so blessed my multiple businesses, how I have a degree that has very little to do with how I consistently am working at doing what I love doing; and for the umpteenth time, I am definitely not going to be teaching in a classroom every single day for so many weeks in a year with no freedom except for summers and a few weeks in between!'s absolutely a worthy occupation! Just not my worthy occupation to pursue right now." 

When did my 'i want to be a mommy' answer lose such respect? 
When, oh the irony, did women who asked those questions lose such respect for themselves? 

The truth is, there's so much more to my life of acting, writing, modeling, and sometimes bits of teaching I can share on social media. And I think all of us realize that there is, but sometimes what we don't realize is each person's life is sometimes a myriad of unanswered questions that lead back to their original answer to what do you want to do? 

Sure, we may not still want to be an animal trainer. A gymnast. But I dare say that even at seven years old, most children are intelligent enough to recognize the most important roles that they see around them. I was blessed enough to have a mum who impacted me enough to cause me to want to be..a mum. 
All roles around you, what dreams you have, contribute to who you become as a person. They may hurt, hinder, or add great measure to your worth. Sometimes they do both. 

I was sitting in a coffee shop with my friend Megan last week, and we were discussing the irony that we are both in our twenties, with the same desire on our lips as when we were kidlets ourselves. There's some joy for us to think about cooking meals, grocery shopping, taking care of our homes, our future husbands, and our someday kidlets. Creating our own art. Being resourceful. Running our own businesses and contributing. Seeing bits of the world with our future families. Of course, it's absolutely not the end all be all, and I have and am decidedly enjoyed the learning along the way. It's something God puts in our hearts, to be nurturers. He has a path after we're children turning into adults, the in between- and they're good plans. He wants to use us for His glory, wherever and whenever He chooses. Sometimes through sorrows, sometimes through adventures, and sometimes in just sitting and waiting.

My answers changed over the years. So did my perspectives. It's contributed, in all those things I said I 'wanted' and that I'm now 'doing' and am 'creating' in my life, to who I'm becoming, which is a beautiful thing to think about.

For some, obviously, the idea may be drudgery to the eye. 

For me..
well, no one asks what I want to be anymore. It's replaced with a "how-are-you," "good," conversation (anything beyond that and you know someone really cares). No one smiles privately as they mentally take in what I'm saying, or tells me, "Oh, you're too cute!" regarding my life choices. 
I wish I had taken advantage of the me that's choosing to come charging forth now that cares little about what people think, but much more about perceptions and that others know where I'm coming from should they so choose to wonder and ask. 

"What do you want to be?" 
"Oh, ultimately? A wife and mother. But there's a lot of occupations and hats I'm wearing right now. So yes. I'm learning a lot along the way." 

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