Monday, August 5, 2013

What do you want to be when you grow up?

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" a well meaning adult will ask a child.

I love the answers children give. One of mine wanted to be a pirate for a while. Later on he changed his chosen career to spy. Another wanted to be an archaeologist in South America. And both of the girls wanted to be a ballerina as most little girls do

When I was a little girl I wanted to travel the world, become a kindergarten teacher or to be a house painter like my dad. I wanted to be an interior designer or architect. I ended up being a teacher and recently travelled to Europe with my family -not the world but it's a beginning.

A few years ago I was watching daytime TV and the there was a story about finding your passion. The woman in the story was a mother and wife and had found herself in a bit of a rut. So she was encouraged to find something she loved doing when she was younger. She loved playing basketball so the counsellor encouraged her to find a way to incorporate this into her life. So she began to coach a team of disadvantaged girls in her local area. And she began to feel alive again.

I found her story helped me consider the things I loved and to find ways to include them in my life. My love of children's literature lead me to volunteer at the local library doing "Story Time" with the under fives. The librarian was so happy to have another volunteer. At the time I was home schooling all four children and they would come with me. They would sit in and listen or find books to borrow . The little children loved having these older kids around. The books and activity were chosen for me so all I had to do was turn up once a month, read the stories and present the activity. I loved this time and it reignited something in me.

Me as little girl wearing a handbag on my head - no idea why I would do such a thing. 

As I looked back at what I loved as a child and teenager I discovered that the woman I am now is not unlike the little girl -

I loved building cubby houses and now I love decorating a bigger cubby house, our home.

I loved playing teacher and bossing my brother around and did became a teacher (I think the bossy thing meant that I was a leader)

I drew house plans and am still fascinated with houses and architecture and design.

I have always collected pictures of decorating ideas and now I still do on pinterest.

I was always tidying my room and changing things around and I still love organising and de-cluttering

I loved helping people find resources and I became a teacher librarian. Now I enjoy helping people find things they are looking for. I might get a phone call, "Do you know where I can get.....?"

I wanted to help people like my mum and dad did and was going to study  Social Work but decided that teaching would be better. I thought I could change the world by getting them young. I still love helping people but am still learning where helping is helpful and when it is not.

I also wanted to dance and act and sing but when my mum sent me to ballet classes with our babysitter I was to shy to go in. Later on I did some classes. I still love watching dance and it still moves me.

I talked a lot and I still do.....but hopefully I have learnt to listen

Me Talking on the phone - Some things never change
For a long time I felt a bit lost. Oh I was happy being a wife and a mother but I still felt a bit lost and so a few years ago I began a journal where I wrote about the things I loved and what brought me joy. Just recently I read back over some earlier entries and I could start to see thread running through it - hospitality, encouraging women one to one, teaching, a welcoming home for our friends and our children's friends.

I have so many ideas running through my head. I dream of coffee shops and running a B and B and all sorts of other things. A gorgeous friend once helped me see that the essence of my dreams can be possible. She got me to think about the elements of running a B and B or coffee shop. And then she explained to me that our family already did these things when we had people over for a meal or afternoon tea. We just weren't charging for it. My husband loves making coffee and makes the best scones and as we sit around our table great food and conversation and friendship happens. A group of friends and their children come for a meal and in the madness and mayhem we have a wonderful time doing life together.

So in some ways I am doing the things I have always wanted to do. It may not look exactly the same as the way I saw it as a child but it brings great joy and richness to my life.

So, what do you want to be when you grow up?


  1. I really enjoyed reading this, Julie. me thinking. x

    1. Would love to hear what you come up with.

  2. wonderful Julie! Thanks. I particularly like the idea of doing B&B and cafe etc already. so true. I wanted to be a home ec. teacher. Guess I'm doin' that!! I wonder what else....

    1. I felt like I was in a B and B when we stayed with you in 2003. Still have lots of fond memories of our time with you.

  3. I always wanted to be a Mum. I remember my Yr 2 teacher getting a bit annoyed at me coz she wanted me to want to have a 'profession'. Poor lady didn't understand how important being a mum is :)
    Awesome post Julie. Really enjoy reading your blog.

    1. A great thing to want to be Jen. And you do such a good job.

  4. How I wish I knew, Julie. It is a question that has plagued me for years, and Im no closer to an answer than I was in high school. For now, I'll stick with "happy"...does that count? :)

    1. Yes, I think it is always evolving.
      Happy does count and you certainly exude that to everyone you meet.

  5. ... I don't wanna grow up.... :)

  6. Hey I loved reading your blog... We have a lot in common! A cafe dream, a B and B, the whole craft deal too!
    A great read... Hear your heart beat! Xx Steph
    Ps nice talking to u today!

    1. Thanks Steph. Really enjoyed talking with you to and finding your blog. What an encouragement you are.