What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up?
This is question I deal with a lot in my job. I work with middle school and high school students on a daily basis, helping them explore the vast world of college and career opportunities, hoping to provide them with information to make an informed decision so some day they can answer this question for themselves.
But, as far as answering this question in the context of what career I want to have, this has really never been answered in my life. As I headed off to the University of Idaho after graduating from college, I had no idea what I wanted to study. The only thing I knew I didn't want to study was Education. I guess I thought there were already too many teachers in my family.
I ended up with a degree in Communications, with an emphasis on Public Relations. This degree helped me get a job at Dawson Community College in Glendive, Montana as the Director of Admissions and Public Relations. But this job was very time consuming, and I knew starting a family was on the horizon, so I resigned from this position, and became a radio announcer. This job's schedule worked out much better for me once our first daughter was born.
After leaving Glendive, we moved to Meridian, Idaho. For the next nine years I would stay home and raise my daughters. I would do a little babysitting in my home during this time, and help out at a friend's flower shop, but most of the time I was home with the girls.
Then we moved to Kellogg. I stayed home at first, but reality hit, and financially I needed a job. So I applied for, and got a job as a reporter for the local newspaper. I worked there for a few years, and decided I wanted to stop and pursue writing a book. So I took a year off to work on researching for a book I am writing. (Yes, I'm still writing the book. I hope to get more serious about it this year.) Then a friend approached me about being the office manager at their family business, so I jumped into that position for a few years. While at that job, I was approached by someone at the school district about a new position that was opening working with middle school and high school students, and providing them information about college and careers. I started this job back in the fall of 2007, and have been at this job about seven years, (which for me is some kind of record.)
But when I look at this question now, "What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up?", I don't think of it as a job or career or position. I look at it more as the type of person I want to be in this world.
I want to be loving. I want to think of others instead of myself, and care about their needs.
I want to be joyful. I want to smile and laugh, and have a spirit that uplifts people who are around me, not bring them down.
I want to be peaceful. I don't want to stir up trouble, just for trouble's sake. I want to be a calming influence to those around me.
I want to have patience. I want to not get upset if things don't go my way, or if people disappoint me.
I want to be kind. I want to know the right words to say to uplift a person, or know if they need a hug, or a special word in a card.
I want to have goodness in my life. I want to choose to do the good thing when given choices in my life. I don't want to do evil, I want to do good.
I want to be a faithful person. I want people to be able to count on me, and I want to have faith in my beliefs and live as though I do believe in those things.
I want to be gentle. If a soft word or touch is needed in a person's life, I want to be there to give that word or touch.
I want to have self-control. I want to be disciplined in my life. To not give in and do everything I want to do, and have the control to do what I believe what is right.
And, as one who follows Christ, these character traits are all lined out in the Bible, in Galatians 5:22-23. They are often referred to as "The Fruit of the Spirit". The way it works is, as I draw closer to my Heavenly Father, His Holy Spirit transforms my life and these characteristics become a part of my life. It is not me struggling to be a better person. It is me letting God's spirit live through me as I deal with others.
And this is the freeing thing about following Jesus and growing up.
You don't have to grow up all by yourself.
The Creator of the Universe is right there beside you, helping you every step of the way.