The world is teeming with people in careers that they always knew they were meant to be in.
For example, the ‘About the Author’ section in the back of most books has made great claims implying that the author was “always destined to be a storyteller,” and that it was somehow their birthright to be a published author.
I never had a single book that was the start to my journey of loving to read. I just knew I enjoyed tales of fiction.
Books have always taken me to another world for the span of a few hundred pages or more, or less. I loved the idea being able to escape my life and steal away to another.
But me, reading was something anyone could do.
Writing, however, was always off limits in my mind. It was so far out of the realm of possibility, that I didn’t even know I restricted myself from it.
So when the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” would arise, I would always hesitate to saying I wanted to be a writer.
So, I settled on being an artist. And sometimes, I got a crazy idea in my head that I would be a singer.
But a writer?
That was off the table, it wasn’t something just anyone could do.
Looking back, I shake my head at the flawed logic.
I don’t know if it was those short author biographies that tended to imply you had it or you didn’t, but that’s definitely what has stuck with me.
No one celebrates building up to find your passion.
No, those who really make a difference in their professions always seem to have been born knowing what their life had in store, or so I thought.
But I think most people aren’t born knowing who they will be. Most people’s parents don’t look at them as a child and say “That one will grow up to be (insert anything here).”
I think being born knowing is beautiful, but there is a different kind of beauty in learning later on. There is beauty in the journey of finding who you are.
Somewhere I decided I could be the kind of person who writes if I wanted to be. At some point, I told myself I had the qualities it took.
I realized the only person excluding me from the art of writing was myself.
I’m not sure exactly when this moment was, or what caused it, but when I picked up a pencil and paper, I began to write the first sentence, of the first page, of the first chapter, of the story that will hopefully be the beginning of the rest of my life.
Now I’m writing for The Bulletin, and it’s strange to think that one day I might have an
“About the Author” page that says something like, “She never knew she would be a writer, but here she is.”
As a kid when I was asked the question of what I wanted to be when I grew up, I must have had a million ideas, but I never guessed that I would find the love for writing that I have now.
I told myself the same things about joining The Bulletin that I did about writing.
I told myself that not just anyone could be a journalist and it took a specific kind of person. But, I think if I have learned one thing from writing it is this: We shouldn’t confine ourselves by lines that aren’t even there.
No one told me I couldn’t be a writer aside from me, and no one could make me become one other than me.
I found my passion almost by mistake, but even if I had tried it and found it wasn’t for me, at least I would have the knowledge that I was one step closer to what was.
I don’t recall having this galaxy shifting moment when I knew exactly who I was supposed to be.
I have much more clarity and understanding than I did, but maybe in some ways I’m still deciding what I want to be when I grow up, and I hope that anyone else with the same
feeling will enjoy the journey and stop imposing restrictions on themselves.
You can be anything, so change your hobbies, your major, your goals.
You just might find yourself years from now doing the exact thing you always thought you weren’t meant for and shake your head with a knowing smile that you had gotten in your own way so much.
There is excitement in not knowing, and even more in finding out.
What do you want to be when you grow up?