#2 was having a crisis awhile back. While we were talking it through, he exploded, “I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up!” Although it was my first reaction, I knew better than to laugh. Instead, I tried to reassure him that as a high school sophomore he had all the time in the world to decide what he wanted to do with his life. Hardly anyone knows what they want to be when they’re only 15.
My reassurances were only partly successful. He’s at a crossroads right now, all part of growing up, and will come out on the other side eventually – stronger, more mature, more thoughtful. The childhood dream of playing professional hockey is still there, but I think he’s beginning to worry it may only be a dream and considering other options. In some ways this is heartbreaking for me. He has always been happiest on the ice – confident in his abilities and a natural leader. This confidence is not as evident off the ice – I don’t know why. He’s not a one sport kid either, but the other ones are only activities, serving as a distraction until he can return to the ice.
I see nothing wrong with encouraging his dreams. I’ve told him I completely believe in him – that if he wants it badly enough and is willing to work his butt off there is no limit to how far he can go. What’s the point of having dreams if you don’t try and pursue them? I caution him though: “Believing in you does not mean a blank check for you to screw around in juniors until you’re 30. In any sport, you’re one bad injury away from being done. Hopefully it won’t be your brain, and you’ll be able to enjoy a long productive life. Make sure you put just as much work into your brain as you do the rest of your training so it can support you later.”
I don’t know how much of this did sink in. Time will tell. I can only hope that whatever he ends up doing, he’ll have good enough insurance to pay for therapy.
I know I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to be at 15. No, wait. I lie. I wanted to be a veterinarian – had wanted to be that most of my life. Then I took a couple of advanced biology classes – yes, dissections – and the dream was over. I was also taking psychology at the time, and that became my new goal. I entered college as a psych major, but it only lasted a semester or two. I was also an MIS major, secondary education major, something else I’ve since forgotten but I know there were five, and finally, a communications major. And that was probably because I was running out of time and had to graduate with something.
Pretty fickle, eh? And not horribly atypical. Lots of my friends changed majors, or even changed careers. After working in marketing for several years I went back to school and picked up a secondary teaching certificate. Actually taught for a bit. Got a better offer back in the corporate world (or so it seemed at the time, but that’s another post) and changed yet again. My husband, in contrast, went to college as a co-op student and has worked more or less for the same company since he graduated. My best friend in elementary school announced as a 9-year-old that she would be a nurse, and she still is.
What does this mean for #2? We all find our way in life. Sometimes the path is fairly straight, sometimes it meanders all over. What matters is, in the end, you enjoyed the journey.
15 there’s still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey 15, there’s never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live
~from 100 Years, Five for Fighting~