When I was 7 or 8 years old, there was nothing I wanted more in the world than to be a cartoonist, either for a newspaper or (the really big dream) as an animation artist for Disney. That changed by the time I was 12 or 13 years old, when there was nothing I wanted more than to play center field for the Atlanta Braves. (I grew up in Augusta, Ga., in an era when the Braves were on TV every single night.) As it turned out, I wasn’t a very talented baseball player — but that’s okay, because my dreams kept changing. (And changed again by the time I reached my 20s, when I wanted nothing more than to be a journalist — that one actually happened 😃)
One of the things that fascinates me as I’ve gotten older (especially after the great discussion in the comments earlier this week) are how my dreams, goals and desires change over time. Things I would’ve given my arm for 15 or 20 years ago, don’t matter nearly as much today. And things that would’ve bored me to tears then, now matter immensely to me.
We have a really wide range of ages here in our group, so there’s something I’d love to know, because I’m so interested in all your different possible answers: how have your goals and dreams changed over time, and what do you make of that now?
Whether you accomplished them or not doesn’t matter. What do you think you learned from how they changed, if they changed? I’d love to know. — Terrell
I think most recently what I want out of like has changed not necessarily for the good thanks to Covid. I am a covid long hauler that previously loved travel and scuba diving. I haven't done either since Dec. 2019. For someone who would travel 2-3 times a year it hurts. But I'm just not ready. I find myself wanting to be at home instead, whether due to continued illness or fear of the world and its craziness now. We're building a she shed in the back as a place to retreat and do crafts in the meantime, my other passion. Hopefully my goals of traveling, diving and even running return at some point. Not that I wish them gone but for now I am okay with it. The other side is I have been a teacher my whole life and loved it...again until covid. Talk to any teacher and they will tell you it's just not the same. People are not the same and teaching is a people business. Only two years until retirement and I must say I am looking forward to that new chapter!
I'm 23 and I have loved writing ever since I was small. That's not my full time job now but I get to write for fun and that makes me very happy. I am still figuring out if I have a "dream" that I absolutely want to make reality.
My ideas has changed dramatically, I have given this a lot of thought and I do not want to go backwards. Please give me advice on this. And please trust me when I tell you this. I do not want that kind of life
Starting in Junior High School, I wanted to be a musician. Not a rock star front man, but in a rock band. That lasted through college. I compare my musical career to that of a high school football player: I had a lot of fun and learned a few things, in particular that I didn't have the talent to make a living.
Now that I am 58 my goal is to complete my career on my terms and to leave when I want to. So far, that seems to be going well.
There are days when I want to quit and join a scrappy start up and be the wise old man on the team. That sounds like fun.
I’ve reached 40 and I can feel my priorities changing. No longer am I thinking about a promotion, pushing forward at work etc. but I’m thinking about how to live a more balanced life.
I think that, if I can achieve it will be the magic of the next decade.
Great question Terrell! In my sophomore year in high school, my typing teacher introduced me to my first competition in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). I competed in many business related courses such as accounting, business law, parliamentary procedures, etc. I knew then that I wanted to be in a finance related career. That was over 30 years ago. I’ve had the pleasure of working in healthcare finance my entire career and enjoyed the great success along the way. Now that I’m in my early 50’s, my interests are starting to change. I want to start my own business in the fitness industry with the hope of improving one’s overall wellbeing before it becomes catastrophic. I’m hesitant to do so because I’m scared of doing the unknown. Although I want to start something new, it’s not because I’m bored of what I’m doing now. It’s quite the opposite, there is never a dull moment in healthcare and I’m always learning something new! I think I’ve reached a point of wanting to influence healthcare in it’s early stages, wellness! I haven’t quite figured out the path yet but definitely exploring opportunities...stay tuned 😊!
What do I want to be when I grow up? The eternal question to which I never have an answer! I think I have never grown up. . . :)
As long as I can remember, my interests have been in art and in the great outdoors. My parents had other thoughts in that I had to have a job that made money, get married and have children. Boring to me and still is. I've avoided most of it, did it, but didn't like it, or life changed it for me. . . Thank God!
Fashion drawing and costuming for the theatre interested me for the longest time. I really wanted to work behind scenes in both costuming and stage sets.
I did have a store in Virginia City, NV that satisfied that to some extent, both restoring a building from the 1800s, sewing leather garments and making jewelry. Renaissance Faire kicks in food and booth building filled in a lot of time as well as a job dealing cards at Harrah's Tahoe that made a lot of money! That picture vanished in the 1980s when my first husband passed on.
Next move was into a religion of which I am still not sure if it is a cult or not. I had to do a lot of legal
finagling in which I changed my name and had to play along with the upper-ups, including an arranged marriage. This was not a happy part of my life and I don't know why I ever got into it except I had a kid. Husband is gone now, living a life of the religion which he always wanted.
I think I would have been a successful floral designer if this part of my life hadn't happened.
Now, I live with my daughter who is in computer gaming--a subject that doesn't interest me at all. I still love art and the outdoors, but am waiting for the curtain to lift on something new. I keep my mind open, but it is always directed toward those two fields of interest. Running and walking help me keep my sanity as I am not really athletic. . . just love being outdoors!
Sunny day today, but supposed to change on Monday and Tuesday to an inch of snow in the Seattle area. I'll be out walking on the Trail trying out my new "poles!" :)
What a great question & the answers below are also very enjoyable. Great to read the different stories and how life is often something that happens to us rather than us controlling our destinies, despite what we may think. The book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell analyses this & how when and where we’re born has such a huge influence on the rest of our lives.
For me, I’m 31 & the goals keep shifting as I get older, but I’m conscious not to constantly chase happiness or achievements. Alan Watts also talks about this & how life is like music, we shouldn’t rush to get to the end, rather we should enjoy the journey.
As a kid I wanted to be an athlete, but doing well at school was always a focus for my parents. Then it became about graduating from university. Once I did this my parents took a massive step back, reassured that whatever I tried and failed at, I’d have a degree to fall back on. Fortunately timing and chance aligned and I got a career working in sports for Nike, Lacoste & now Adidas. I get to travel, work on amazing products and with some incredible people. I try not to think too far ahead now because really we don’t know what life has in store. I just try to enjoy the journey and appreciate how fortunate I am to be doing something I enjoy. I make sure to spend time with people who bring positivity into my life and the people I care about that I love them.
Great question. Remember, you asked...
To begin with, I am now 57. I grew up in NY, playing any sport available and, fortunately, happened to be good at almost any of them [pats self on back here!]. I grew up wanting to be a baseball player, the ones I saw every night on TV. Through HS I had some, modest successes with both baseball and basketball and was able to continue to play those in college, where I also had modest success. I met my wife there, right away [got soooo lucky] and retrospect tells me that, while I considered continuing playing baseball beyond college, her impact on my life led me to a different, better direction. She made me think of goals and a direction, something that wasn't really at my minds forefront. She was then, and still is, of major import to my life!
I had an older neighbor growing up who told me I was going to be a lawyer. This was always in the back of my mind, I went to law school a few years out of college with all the hopes and expectations that come along with that step! After 46 credits there, and less than modest success, I realized the law likely wasn't for me. I got married during my time in law school as well and realized that I needed to do something I wanted for myself, not for others.
Growing up in NY, with "Wall St" always omnipresent, I became a stock broker, and reached more than modest economic success there but, after 10 years, two young children and a desire to more a part of their lives, along with job burnout an my wife's health, I transitioned out of the market - I learned that money wasn't everything but family was!
I was always involved with my church programs, volunteer coaching rec/CYO basketball even before I had kids - always believed that, since I was blessed with a coach who cared, I wanted to be able to do the same. This opened the "best" door for me, for one of my player parents [coached her both boys] happened to be a principal who knew I was considering teaching and in the middle of a school year needed a teacher so I started what has been the best time of my employment life.
I realized through life that, as much as we always need "money", life entails so much more. As a teacher, I'll never come close to the economic status I held when working on Wall St BUT as a stock broker I'd never have the positive impact I feel I get to have now with the kids I teach, mentor and coach.
As I've done this a long while now [I am old, you know] I've realized how much I'm glad that I did all of the things I've done, for it led to me to come to the place where I am, a place where I'm not sure I would've gotten to otherwise. Life has taught me that God does help, where needed, along the way and life also has a way of leading you to where you need to be! As I've aged, I am much more willing to "go with the flow" and let things happen as opposed to trying to control them. Life has become more enjoyable, and fun, as a result.
To re-direct it to the blog, I also now take this same approach to my running. Enjoying the moments where it presents, letting things happen and accepting what is without trying to force it to be more. In a microcosm, last night my run started terrible, mechanical and I literally felt I was taking 1 step at a time but halfway thru, it just got better, I stopped thinking about the run and enjoyed the evening run - my time [looking back] got better to. Made my night that more enjoyable...
Thank you, Terrell....first, I love your newsletter and how you invigorate your readers to process our journeys. The book just went under contract but is scheduled for release in the fall. Reason why I can't disclose too much now is, it's still in work-mode and I am vacillating between three titles. It's a non-fiction, faith-based book. My audience would be for the more seasoned demographic. As for my career in investment banking....I swapped out the stage for an office due to a sudden shift in the economy. Remember Desert Storm? It shattered all industries, especially the performing arts. My professional name at the time was Linda Froehlich. I worked a lot in commercials, film and theater. However, I had to get serious so I started temping at an investment firm and was hired to be a junior portfolio assistant. Then I transitioned into marketing and communications. Thus, I learned about how to manage money, sales and how to write business documents. That given, rather than always seeking employment as an actress, I had financial stability and serenity and learned skills that are vital today. As for acting, I was on SNL, in New Jack City, lots of commercials, film, Off-Broadway and the typical soap operas that are phasing out. And now, I am in Pittsburgh living a life very different from my days in New York! But, still snow-skiing and running marathons. Go figure.....
Always wanted to be an actress and I accomplished much in that field (80s - 90s). Yet, the industry changed and so did I. Against my will, I ended up working out of Wall Street where I learned skills that changed my life for the better. Since then, I have been writing for clients and from there, built a small business. Better yet, my manuscript is under contract with a publisher. Book is to be released this fall! Interesting how times can change our minds.
Okay--I was just thinking about this the other day: 1) A nun. Yes. A nun. I went to a little Catholic school in Decatur (I was born in Atlanta, too) and loved my sweet, piano teaching nun. 2) A pediatrician was next--loved Dr. Bradley. 3) a lawyer (Perry Mason) 4) Nothing specific, but I wanted to be a "businesswoman" and take a company public. (Did that.) 5) A writer--the kind who was financially successful and actually never had to engage with another human. (Yeah, hasn't worked out that well.....YET.) 5) Now...I want to write and serve as an advisor/board member to early-ish stage companies whose values (aka how they treat their employees) align with my own. What I learned is that there are ENDLESS possibilities in life--a number of different ways to live life and gain a sense of accomplishment. The most important unifying theme for me personally, is that whatever I do, I'm actively "walking in integrity."