When I Grow Up, I'd Like to...

Last June, with the summer upon us, I found myself thumbing through my son’s just-released elementary school yearbook. While Evan was in fifth grade then, I was drawn to the sixth grade section, where graduating 12-year-olds share their favorite elementary school memory, a fitting adjective for themselves, and their career ambition.

I started with the A’s and as I made my way through the “senior” section, I studied the career goal line most closely. Navy Elementary, I learned, had a HUGE number of future professional athletes. Pitchers, quarterbacks, and point guards abound! Other students saw themselves going to law school or med school. Several aspired to be teachers or artists. More than a few proudly declared “mom” as their ultimate goal and one child predicted that he would work at Google.

And then I came to the last student on the list. This girl closed out the sixth grade section with an answer that none of her classmates had stated: “I don’t know yet.”

What an honest answer for a kid surrounded by so much certainty!

When you think back on your youth, did you know what you wanted to be? Or did you share the “I don’t know yet” philosophy? Did you realize your childhood goal or did you change course? Maybe you had a series of jobs that paid the bills. Or perhaps you had a profession that filled your identity and fed your soul.

Maybe you worked outside the house or maybe your work was maintaining a family and home.

Regardless of how it all panned out, be sure to highlight your career when you write your memoirs. It may be a success story or a missed opportunity story or a still-trying-to-figure-it-out story. A personal historian can help you uncover the lessons learned – and gems realized – behind whatever door you chose. And each door has a memory.

Please let me know if I can help you tell yours.