What I want to be when I grow up

In which all I wanted to do was make dinosaurs.

School photo

Now I have progeny I get to look and think “what on Earth are you going to be when you are older?” I don’t quite remember what my dream job was when I was ten years old, the only point I decided I wanted to pursue a particular career path was around my teenage years.

At that point I wanted to be a geneticist, and this was all down to one man.

PHOTO-Henry Wu Jurassic Park

I’d just seen Jurassic Park and thought the prospect of bringing dinosaurs back to life was pretty amazing, and it partly cemented my love of science. If the recreation of an extinct species was possible then it must be a pretty cool career path to follow.

I swallowed up all the books on G, A, T, and C I could find and made genetics my specialty. I was ready to go to University to study genetics (even if I did end up doing Microbiology and Zoology) but then something clicked. The chances of me being BD Wong was very low, in all likelihood I would end up as uncredited guy in a lab coat.

This is the same for all childhood dream jobs, we all imagine ourselves to be the hero, we’ll either score the winning points or save people or be elected ruler of the world. In reality very few actually do, we are all extras for the big stars.

Now I think not about what I am, but what I did. My job title is just a description of what I am expected to do to get the money to do the things that really matter. I can create the most amazing dashboard or set of analysis but I’m not changing the world.

It’s when I get home that I can have a real impact. Raising my family is my real job. So when I come to ask my little dinosaurs what they want to be when they’re older I’ll need to stop myself. It’s not a vocation that you need to aim for it’s actions.

Not “what do you want to be when you are older” but “what do you want to do”.

When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up? What are you now? Are the two connected?

In response to: Ballerina Fireman Astronaut Movie Star

Author: geekergosum

Ah, so you worked out the riddle. You just needed to use dwarfish and the doors to Geek Ergo Sum opened. Or perhaps you just used Google. Either way you are here, on my little corner of the Internet.

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