Last week, the elementary kids get to dress up for career day, so I asked my youngest son what he was going to wear. As he was thinking, I told him he could borrow my hard hat, put on some work boots, and be a quarry worker.
“Nah,” he said. “I’ll just wear my baseball uniform. I’m going to be a major league baseball player.”
It seems so easy when you’re 9 years old. To just think you can be a professional athlete if you want to be. But I was no different. When I was really little, my dream job was to drive big equipment in the quarry. That changed when I was in grade school.
Yep, I was going to go to Georgia to play football, then off to the NFL. My mom tried to reel in my expectations saying I needed a backup plan, just in case.
No problem. Option 2 was to earn a spot on the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleading Squad. Seriously. I still have no idea why that was my dream. I was years away from puberty, so it wasn’t why you would think.
By the time I got into high school, I started to have different ideas. I took Mr. Luense’s career aptitude test a couple of times, and although those told me that I should be a radio DJ or anthropologist, I set my sights on being an engineer. I was pretty good at math, but I had one fatal flaw. I wasn’t very devoted to any type of homework. But I told myself that once I got to college, I would dedicate my efforts to get that engineering degree.
Well, I didn’t, and soon I was back to trying to decide what I wanted to be. Eventually I landed in the College of Journalism with a focus on Public Relations. I had a new goal. I was going to be the director of PR for an NFL team! My 10-year-old self would be SO proud. I really enjoyed that field, and had a great internship for a firm in Chicago between my 2 senior years.
As graduation approached, I was sending letters and resumes to every possible professional sports program. Apparently, so was everyone else.
This morning I put on my career day outfit. As I tied up my work boots and went out into the crisp, dark morning, I realized something. I’m exactly where I want to be.