What I Wanted to Be When I’d Grow Up #Blogtober20

Today’s prompt for #Blogtober20 is “Wannabe”. I originally had no idea what to write for it, until I saw Mandi’s own post mentioned writing about what she wanted to become when growing up. Mandi chose against this theme, but I’m going with it. I can’t remember whether I ever covered this topic on this blog – I’m pretty sure I did on one of my older blogs, but it might have been here too. Even if I did cover the topic here, I have a lot of new’ish readers, so it may still be interesting.

I remember in Kindergaten we had some type of celebration that included a “fortune-teller” with a crystal ball – of course, it was another grade’s teacher. I remember she asked us all what we wanted to be when we’d grow up. Most girls wanted to be a princess, of course. I can’t remember what I said I wanted to be.

When I learned to write, however, I knew pretty soon that I wanted to be a writer. My parents, realistic as they were, told me up front that writing wouldn’t earn me a living unless I was a real good one. So for money I usually wanted to be a teacher.

I originally wanted to teach small children, of course, because I myself was still young. When I got to the later elementary grades, I made up my mind and wanted to become a high school teacher. Or a professor even. I remember proudly telling people when I was twelve that later I wanted to be a Dutch-language linguist. Later, I wanted to become a mathematician.

This was, at least, what I told others when my parents or teachers were present. Secretly, I made plans to become a psychologist. I wanted to help children or adults with my kind of problems, which I was well aware of by that age.

When I was in my later years of high school, the thought of becoming a psychologist remained at the back of my mind. Openly though, I chose to go the “safe” path and applied to become an English major. Then I made up my mind at the last moment and chose to take a gap year to go to the rehabilitation center for the blind.

I got the opportunity to study psychology, albeit not at university, in 2006. I jumped at the opportunity and did eventually earn my foundation (first-year diploma) in applied psychology. I passed communication skills only if I promised that I wouldn’t continue in this field though. I know, psychology isn’t the best major for an autistic. But I didn’t want to do something I didn’t like, so I picked linguistics as my university major with the intent of doing my minor in speech and language pathology. As most of my readers know, it didn’t work out.

I still intend on someday taking some more psychology or pedagogy classes. I will most likely never work at any paid job though. Still, my original dream of becoming a writer, has at least partly come true.


18 thoughts on “What I Wanted to Be When I’d Grow Up #Blogtober20

  1. It’s so great that you managed to pursue your dream about being a writer, in the end!
    As for me, when I was a little child, I remember I wanted to do something to do with music, be a singer or a musician or something like this. I am not entirely sure though if it was something that I came up with independently or more of a surroundings pressure thing, as my family had an idea that making music would be the best thing to do in life for a blind person so that’s what they initially strongly encouraged me to do, and in these first years I even quite enjoyed it. But over time I realised that performing music is not really something for me and I find it very stressful, also I wasn’t particularly good at instruments because of the coordination/dexterity issues, so finally I decided that I don’t want anything to do with music as a performer and feel much better in the role of a listener. However these days I feel very grateful for that I got a chance to try it, because I have more of an idea of how music technically works and thus also can be a better judge of it than I would be otherwise. I still foster the dream about being a harpist, as harp is my most favourite instrument, but I’m happy with it staying in the dream sphere.
    Later I also wanted to be a doctor, which was obviously very unrealistic, and then a psychologist/therapist which also come back later on but eventually I decided it probably wouldn’t be really a good job for me because while I relaly like to help, support and listen to people, I find interactions with people generally challenging and so if it was a basis of my job I’d probably feel drained quickly. I also found it alarming that three people whom I told that I’d like to study psychology instantly reacted like: “But you know that studying psychology is not going to help you with your problems?” I never had that in mind when thinking about psychology, nor ever shared my mental health challenges with these people though I’m sure they could notice that I had them to some extend, but I thought it was rather meaningful that so many people reacted in such a way.
    I was thinking on and off about being a writer since I was 8 and started writing my first stories and novellas/short novels, my first little book was about fictional creatures that I called Parpills and I still have it and think it was pretty decent for an 8-year-old, especially that I wrote most of it in one day.
    I also had an episode where I wanted to be a nun, but it wasn’t really genuinely what I wanted. I was awfully depressed at the time, and I knew already that I wouldn’t want to have children, had very mixed feelings about being in a romantic relationships and felt strongly that I wouldn’t be able to do a normal job so I felt like being a nun would be the only option I wouldn’t fail at. In hintsight, I think I couldn’t come up with a worse idea for my future as now I believe being a nun is an awfully difficult job and there are too many of them who don’t seem to have a true calling, I wouldn’t like to be another one adding to this.
    When I met my horse riding instructor who is also a neurologist and knows a whole lot about the brain, and then when I read a book by Jürgen Thorwald about the history of neurosurgery, I started to dream about being a brain surgeon and it’s still my big dream although I’ve never felt frustrated or anything very negative like that about the fact that I wouldn’t be able to do it, it’s just something I’d love to do if I could, but it’s not the end of the world if I can’t.
    And then I was also thinking about being a translator or a linguist or something like this, but wasn’t sure what exactly in the language field I’d like to do. I think though it’s still a viable option for me to be a translator even though I don’t have any higher education in any language. Though I’d like to do some language certificates at some point if possible, but more to verify my knowledge for myself and see where I’m at rather than to have a piece of paper proving my skills because I can prove them in practice myself if need be and don’t need a piece of paper to speak for me. 😛
    I also had a short time when I wanted to be a sound engineer. Oh and I wanted to do something with AI somewhere along the way. I had a time where I was very strongly interested in the workings of things like speech synthesis, but also chatbots and other such things and I wanted to develop different things like these that could help people and I wanted to produce speech synthesisers for blind people who speak indigenous, endangered languages. But my knowledge was much more theoretical than practical and I’m not really that very techy so that just couldn’t ever work out, haha. I still have some interest for such things but it has largely diminished over time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, you certainly had a lot of interests and dream occupations over the years. It’s interesting that you were encouraged to become a musician, as I for one never was. I’m clueless about music actually, but I do know it’s a common misconception that all blind people are good at music.

      With respect to writing, I didn’t finish anything beyond short stories so far and I must say most were quite unimaginative. I still enjoy it though.

      By the way, did you receive my reply to your E-mail via my contact form a few weeks ago?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think enjoying your writing is what counts the most. Well, unless you intend to publish what you’re writing, then it’s different.
        Oh yes, I did receive your email and even replied to it, didn’t it arrive? :O
        I just forwarded it to you so hopefully this time it’ll get there safely.

        Liked by 1 person

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