Last night my 6 year old son, Yonatan, made a dramatic announcement. “I decided I will not be a chef”, he said completely seriously, as seriously as he made the original announcement about a year ago. “But I am worried,” he added, “I don’t know what will I be when I grow up”.
I was amused, of course, and ran through some memories. My 11 year old was asked when he was 4 “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, and he seriously said “A tiger”. About 3-4 years later he announced “I will be an inventor”, and when I asked him what kind of inventions he is planning he said “I don’t know, I will be a Leonardo Da-Vinci”.
My 14 year old daughter announced, when she was 5, that she will be an assistant to the nursery teacher. The assistant was very flattered but told her “You can be anything you want to be”. The child’s vision gradually changed, following her interest in science, until she said, a few years back, “I think I might be a physicist”. No obligation.
I remember that until I was 14 I was sure I will be a teacher, following my mother’s footsteps. My first grade teacher, and some teachers after her, were certain I will become a writer. I became a journalist when I was 16, and remained with this career for 15 years.
But who would have guesses I will become what I am today? It’s not a single thing. I am many things, and I enjoy it. No single title. If asked today what will I be when I grow up, I’d say I don’t know. And I am much closer to grown up then my kids…
So many people I have been meeting for the past decade are such: people who are many things, or people who are …something… that didn’t exist, let alone have a clear title, when we were kids.
So what will Yonatan be when he grows up? Who knows ?!? Just be open to all options, I say.