My first ever response to the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” was to be a dinner-lady. I was approximately six years old and the dinner-ladies at my school were super nice to the shy young me, so it seemed like an ideal thing. As I grew up, I’m happy to say, my career goals became a bit more ambitious.
There was the time I wanted to be a surfer; the time I wanted to be a photographer; and the time I wanted to be an artist. Currently I want to be a writer (and obviously don’t consider myself grown-up yet).
But when I really think about it, I just want to be happy. That is the essential thing that I want more than anything else in life really.
I ran into an old friend of mine recently who revealed to me that he had cancer and had to have extensive surgery in the hopes of stopping it. He was coping well and was very optimistic, even saying that he was happy with everything else; but I was shocked and my heart broke for him. It acted as one of those reminders you get from time to time that life is too cruel and too short.
It makes you stop and think about what is really important. It makes you stop wanting material possessions; makes you stop worrying about trivial matters and grounds you in the here and now, taking into account what it is that makes you genuinely happy.
Cancer-fighting friends, warring countries; it’s a reminder that no matter how hard you plan and work toward your goals, life will sometimes have other plans for you. So maybe it is best not to plan for the future so rigidly. When you grow-up, life won’t be all that you hoped for, but that’s life and that’s ok; all you can do is hope for the best and find happiness in everything you do.