What to be when I grow up?

One of the challenges I have been facing for a long time is what I am going to be when I grow up. I realize that at 31 I am a grown up but let’s be honest, were you done growing by that age? No one is ever truly done growing, but I digress.

I went to college, briefly with the thoughts of being a chef. I love to cook and while I failed due to lack of application in school, I pulled on my big girl panties and went out into the world and worked. I have done literally every job there is in a restaurant. I have run food and beverage facilities for hotels, I have run fast food joints, I have served, cooked, cleaned dishes, and managed and done all the things I could have learned to do in school. I didn’t really have a desire to return to college, until recently.

Don’t get me wrong, there are pangs of regret, especially when my little sister moved into her first apartment on the campus of a major university. I was past that by then, having already met my future husband, there would be no dorm living for me.

I have been working in offices for the last 7 years, doing bookkeeping, administrative assisting, and all the usual stuff. I am good at it, but find I am not challenged. I like the company I work for, the people I work with, that is not the point.
I want to look in the mirror and know I am being the best I can be at everything. So I have been thinking about returning to school. Thinking about expanding my knowledge and seeking a true career path, the problem is I still don’t know what I want to be. I bounce around a lot on my ideas of my future. For a long time I thought I would be a Mom and work my part-time job to supplement our income. That was the plan, so it didn’t matter if my job was “fulfilling” my ultimate job was being a mom. Now that that plan is off the table I find myself looking again for the challenge.

I know some of the must haves, I need to work with people, I need to be creative, I need some structure, I need to work days and no nights or weekends. The sad thing is the careers I am drawn to don’t fit into some of these criteria. I know I will figure it out, I just wish that there was something that would happen, an ad in a magazine, or a commercial on TV where I saw a successful, well dressed woman doing my dream job and I could say Aha, I knew it was out there. I just don’t want to be 60 and just starting my dream job, I would rather do it now and retire in my 60’s, if people can still retire in their 60’s in my lifetime.

I know a lot of people have this problem, they are good at something but it doesn’t fill their soul. I know a lot of people who hate their jobs, but the pay and benefits out weigh the need for job satisfaction. This was not the problem of past generations, they worked because they had to put food on the table, pay the bills, and if they had anything left they saved for the future. Sometimes I wish I could remove the desire to LOVE my job and be happy that I have one, happy I can pay my bills, happy that I get along with my boss and co-workers. I am happy for those things, but I am still looking for that dream.

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