What do you want to be when you grow up?

I wonder how many privileged thirty-somethings are still wondering what they’ll be when they grow up. I remember when I was younger I had it all figured out. My third grade teacher, Mrs. Welti went one by one to each of us bright eyed little dreamers and asked us each what we wanted to be when we grew up. I had no hesitation as to what I wanted to be and proudly told the class that I wanted to be a nightclub singer. Of course, not just that- but exactly what sort of nightclub singer. I planned on being an act in a hole in the wall club where I could lounge on the piano with a glass of wine. I’d wear a slinky sequin gown and a big purple wig. I wanted to have a deep smokey voice and not really care about the men in the bar as I pulled their money out of them. I had it all figured out. I just had to wait for puberty when I knew that my voice would grow deeper.

After a while I learned that I wasn’t really the sexy type. I took dance classes and just didn’t get the curve in my hips just right. I was more of the crazy artist, the weird girl who would wear wild outfits and listen to obscure music. I found more comfort in being the center of a joke when I felt like I couldn’t be the center of someone’s fantasy. So then I decided that I wanted to be a Sound Designer for films. I wanted to come up with innovative concoctions to create the perfect sounds for videos and travel the world to find some exotic nut that cracked a certain way for that perfect crunching noise, or try to confuse a dolphin to create that sound that is just right for that moment in the film about dolphin emotions.

I lost interest in sound and I decided that I couldn’t read music no matter how many years I’d spent in choirs or all of my piano lessons. I went to college wanting to find a way to help people, and decided to go into psychology to eventually become a counselor. As I’m sure that it happens for many Psych majors in their stats class- I found that Psychology isn’t really my field. Women Studies beckoned me from across the hall and I found a potent inner power through studies in social justice that fed me to my core in search of something sultry, against the grain, empowering, and with a fantastic impact on the world around me. I decided then that I wanted to teach in Women’s Studies and I went off to earn a masters degree to accomplish that goal.

Sadly, or perhaps perfectly, I felt cautioned out of teaching in Social Justice studies. A whole world opened up that I now felt overwhelmed by and felt unable to contextualize in a receivable way in a classroom. I then knew that I didn’t want to teach in a university per say, but have some other means to deliver these complex concepts and dream up new ways of understanding the world. While earning my masters I joined up with Cafe Gratitude and began to learn a powerful and revolutionary method of communicating, and an innovative means of delivery.

So here I am now, working to fit these pieces together and get what it is that I want to do. I know that my dream of being a nightclub singer was for the performance, was for the strength and courage to be in the light, and to have the power of the microphone. I know that my dream for a job in sound design was for the quirky creativity, for the opportunity to create something that others can use and to think with innovation. I know that my dream in being a counselor was because I want to help people, and dive into people’s worlds deeper than the average interaction. I wanted to teach because I wanted to learn from waves of the next generations, and have thought-provoking discussions where something new and revolutionary can come out of each meeting together.

I’ve been trained in performance, in creation and craft, in radical visions, and in groundbreaking relationship models. I was born as someone with great privilege and opportunity, which creates a wonderful space for creation. I’ve come to this point and I have the utmost incredible opportunity to create the life that I want and I don’t know quite what that is. My message is revolution, my method is love, my aim is deep, my goal is creation. With me seeing where the sidewalk ends in this path I am on right now, I am patiently and yet purposefully opening my horizon to what it is that I want my life to be for. There are only so many moments that I have on this planet and I dedicate them all to being in service. The question is where.

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