“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
This question is thrown around between friends from the moment we set foot in the playground…and 20 years later we’re still asking it. Long gone though are the days when ‘lawyer’ and ‘astronaut’ are given in reply with enough conviction to convince even our parents that there may well be a possibility. I don’t know about you, but I still don’t have a clue!
Maybe it wasn’t a dream of yours to change the world, but it was definitely on my bucket list. I remember loving history at school and learning about some of the most incredible people: Martin Luther King, Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Emily Davison and the Pankhursts, and many more. I mean these people changed things, they made a difference. I figured because I was a high achiever at school, with a tonne of extra-curricular activities under my belt, that I too would be in the running for a history lesson being written about me. But for many of us, life changes things. Dreams level out and we realise that we’re probably not going to change the world…at least not today.
When we enter working life, it can be such a blur. How did we get here? We dream and dream, and then reality happens and those dreams have been moved aside. Day after day goes by and we are aware that we are one little fish in an otherwise humungous pond. How did I get here? Where am I going? Our society tells us to strive, strive, strive. More is more. City living is fast paced and exciting, but can sometimes leave us feeling totally overwhelmed. Where do I go from here? Dissatisfaction creeps in.
All these muddled feelings, the pressure to keep up…but I think we’re missing the point. How do we keep our head above water?
I work in London in Business Development, and in the most part am doing pretty well. Promotion prospects are ahead of me and I am keen to progress. Needless to say, I still ask the question, ‘what do I want to be when I grow up?’ Dreams are beautiful. I would go as far to say that we should make a new one every day. They motivate us, excite us, encourage us. They call us to be creative and learn new things. But how can we enjoy the moment when all we do is search for the next?
And so, as I continue to dream, imaging how I can change the world, I’ve decided I don’t want to miss out on what’s happening today. I don’t want to miss that smile on the tube, bypass that conversation while I’m making my 10 o’clock cup of tea. We might not be able to change the world today, but we can impact those around us. Maybe that’s the point. Taking each day as it comes, dreaming and living simultaneously.