Warning - Some posts may cause choking, spitting of beverage and /or a severe giggle fit. This advice brought to you by regular reader Louisa.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

When I grow up, I want to be....

After a sticky weekend so far (daughter had nasty stomach bug, so when I say 'sticky', I mean it literally), it was nice to get up this morning to a child that was happy and smiley (and also hopping with excitement due to her birthday tomorrow, not to mention Christmas). My almost-but-not-quite eight year old was babbling ten to the dozen about this, that, and everything in between.

Now usually, Ellie and babbling equals plenty of nods and 'yes, dears' and not much else, but this morning we had a fairly serious discussion which, for once, didn't include hairstyles, heeled boots and lip gloss (in case you were unsure, the hairstyles, heeled boots and lip gloss are my daughter's favorite topics of conversation, not mine). Anywho, while we were talking about birthday and Christmas stuff in general, my girl suddenly came out with the following:

"When I grow up, I want to be either a teacher, a spy, or a fashion designer."

Now, that might make a few people go 'aw, bless' or some such thing, but I was actually quite impressed that she has apparently progressed from the 'when I grow up I want to be a princess or a pop star' ambitions. The likelihood of my daughter marrying into royalty is zero, and while she loves to sing, her enthusiasm is only surpassed by her lack of tone, so pop stardom is out too (though, having said that, most pop stars lip sync nowadays don't they, so maybe that should be listed as a possibility).

A teacher? Now, that can only be a good thing. She's intelligent, way ahead of her peers, loves telling people what to do, and enjoys marking her brother's homework, She could definitely become a teacher. A spy is maybe not so easily achievable, but still possible. She's definitely got the whole sneaky side of things covered at any rate. Okay, a spy may be a dubious dream, but it is definitely far more realistic than a princess.

Of course, the favoured choice of career is the fashion designer. I don't know whether it's a generation thing (which makes me feel really old, by the way), but when I was eight I had absolutely no idea what was fashionable and what wasn't (I probably still don't, actually). But Ellie is very firm when it comes to what she likes and doesn't like. Thankfully she has to wear school uniform, or heaven knows how much money I'd have to spend on clothes. Her outfits are perfectly colour-co-ordinated, and she point-blank refuses to wear certain things if they make her look 'silly'. Honestly, if she could have seen what I wore when I was her age, she would have disowned me.

My son, on the other hand, is both very vague on what he wants to do, but also specific. He definitely wants to work on films, but that could be anything from being an actor, a stunt man, or even a director. He's always been a film nut, and he zeroed in on all of the film and media courses that are available for him to study next year for his G.C.S.E.'s. I'm just thankful that his fabulous new school has the facilities to offer these kinds of courses, with the added bonus that several of them are assessed by coursework and practical exams.  I'm pretty sure he'll sail through most of the courses, especially because he'll get to make a short film in one of them, and study disaster movies in another. Honestly, these courses could not be more perfect for him, and I'm really pleased that he can study something that is both fun and catered to help him achieve his dream of working in the film business.

And me? When I was seriously picking my career options, I wanted to be a nursery teacher first, and work in the advertising world second. I've always loved making up slogans and just basically messing around with words, and little kids have always been a weakness with me too. Of course, I dropped out of school during the first term of the sixth form (year 12 as it is now), and have only ever worked as a sales assistant, but do you know what, I'm almost glad that I did drop out. Working with the public on and off for 15 years has meant that I have probably interacted with every type of person on the planet. It's these different personalities that help me when it comes to writing. I may not remember people's names, or even base a character on a particular person, but from observing lots of weird and wonderful people over the years, I have received an education that isn't provided in any school in the world. I'm not educated in the true sense of the word, but I'm world-wise, and when it comes to writing novels, that can only be a good thing.

So, what about you? When you were young and innocent, what did YOU want to be?


  1. When I was about eleven years old, I had an epiphany. I realised most human endeavour was fundamentally pointless on a cosmological, spiritual and basic it's-bleeding-obvious level, and so took up being sarky and unpleasant.

    I wanted to be a writer when I was sixteen. Still trying, goddamn it. Happy X-thing. You know the deal. :)

  2. Ha! Sarcasm and unpleasantness are good as far as I'm concerned. In fact, I tend to use sarcasm quite a lot, only because I'm a woman they call it bitchiness. ;)

    Happy X-thing to you too (that could be interpreted in an entirely different way, you know. Just saying :D)