Very early in school, the class was asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" It must have been around 1970 or 71. My family was, perhaps a little further (or a lot) behind, because it had not occured ot me, given what I saw, that I would "be" anything other than a wife and a mom one day. That was my basic training. Though school taught me there were other options, home life contiued to raise a bride, a mom and a servant/leader/protector/entertainer of family. I still consider it a dignified and difficult job, one that I didn't always fare well at, infact.
The question shook my foundation. I was born or raised somewhere in the cultural flip between "Lib" of The Waltons and Mary Tyler Moore's office antics. I thought Lib was tougher, so I liked her better, but Mary was funny. Scanning my personal knowledge of what women "did," outside of my family, there were things like the electrician's wife, and the preacher's wife, both positions of which seemed to require the wearing of light blue. I never could take to baby blue, so those were out. There were teachers, but they always wore seasonal vests it seemed with leaves on them for autumn and snowmen later or bunnies. It seemed too fluffy and bulky. Red! I liked red! I liked alot of colors, but red was the end-all in color. I mean if you want to be a color, you can try, but until you make it to red, you're just practicing. That was the thinking anyway. I came up with the answer!
"I want to be a fireman!"
The entire class burst into a roar of laughter, and while I was trying to figure out what I did that was funny (I wasn't smart enough to be embarassed.) the teacher looked at me with an, "Isn't that adorable?" pitiful sort of look. In short order, I was informed that my choices were, "Teacher, Nurse or Stay at home Mom." I'm not sure if anyone told me, or if that was the limit of my imagination.That narrowed things down some.
I became a bar tender. I became many things. I tried the nurse part, the somebody's wife part, and none of those panned out, despite my early training as boo boo kisser and egg salad enchantress. The only vocation I ever stuck to was the Mom part, and I'm still enjoying that. Retirement doesn't happen, but the dividends keep rolling in. grins.
After a very long time, and all of this *being* different things, I found out that I was something. Decades of playing with crayons, pencils and paint, doing portraits, scenes and animals, while trying to figure out what I wanted to "be," sorted itself out. I didn't have to "become" an artist when I grew up. I already was one. Again, "Retirement doesn't happen, but the dividends keep rolling in."
My two best jobs in life are Mom and Artist, and with a life like that, who'd want to retire, anyway? I've got it pretty good.
I never did make it to "fireman," but I still like red.
|Photo by me, of me, being me.|
I may paint this some day.
I may make more egg salad with paprika, but either way....
Red will be involved.