I just turned 40.
Maybe it’s a big deal, maybe it’s just a number. I’m feeling pretty good about it, except for one thing-
I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
I ask my kids this question sometimes, hoping the answer is “a doctor” or “accountant” or anything that leads to financial security and them moving out of the house one day. The last time I asked, Thing 1 said “Michael Jackson”, and Thing 2 ignored the question completely, opting instead to painfully squirm his way out of my straight-jacket embrace. (I let him go, mostly because he accidentally elbowed me in the bladder, but I’m pretty sure he was going to say “brain surgeon.”)
I’ve taken personality tests, hoping that I fit into a category that was easy to define and easier to employ. Apparently I am everything and nothing, introverted and extroverted, right in the gray area of the Meyers-Briggs test. I have a friend who’s a psychologist, and even she said she couldn’t figure me out. Psychologically, I am plasma.
Many of my fellow parents have gone back to school for event planning, interior design, nursing, or even med school (!!), which is incredibly admirable. The problem is there’s nothing I’m interested in enough, that I’m aware of, for which I’d be willing to suffer through another degree.
I’ve made lists of my interests and strengths, and have sought advice from people much wiser and more experienced than me, all of which led to the following conclusions:
- As a freelance English editor, I already get paid to watch TV shows and movies, and I don’t find it particularly gratifying.
- Sudoku solving isn’t a career.
- Neither is annoying my husband. Or my kids.
- Crochet can only be lucrative if I actually finish something.
- I can’t charge people for praying for them.
- I’d have to master more than just the corpse pose to teach yoga.
- Snark is hard to monetize.
So I guess I’m writing this until I figure out what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. If it helps you in any way at all, this will have been more than worth it. At the very least, I hope that reading about my awkward blundering through adulthood makes you feel better about your own journey.