What Do I Wanna Be When I Grow Up

musings of a professional dreamer

What do I wanna be when I grow up? Everything.

I’ve wanted to be a lot of things in my life. Most people assume that the only thing I’ve ever wanted to be was a musician, but that’s not true. Music is just who I am without trying.

I wanted to be a pilot when I was nearing my sixteenth birthday. I love flying. I love being suspended in the air; there’s something intoxicating about it. For a long time, I dreamed about becoming an astronaut. The stars and all that endless space are another kind of magic altogether.

I wanted to be a marine biologist too. I think it’s because I always wanted to disappear beneath the ocean where it’s quiet and slowed down. And it’s just so big and beautiful and mysterious down there. There was also a time when I wanted to work on a game farm. Animals are easier to love than people sometimes, and I loved the idea of disappearing into the woods; getting my hands dirty; living simply; watching sunsets and being peaceful.

I quite like the idea of owning the hell out of an argument. For someone completely non-confrontational, I guess that lofty dream makes sense. I thought about studying law, but I chose philosophy instead. I also thought about becoming a psychologist and studied that for two years, but I think it was really to figure myself out more than anything else.

I always had this silly notion that in my next life, I’d like to come back as a dancer. I danced for a while. Never very well, if I’m honest about it. But I liked pretending that it meant something; that in some way, it could be beautiful. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to say something with your body.

I’ve always loved numbers and balancing things out. I think it’s the order behind music and maths theory that appeals to me. It agrees with my brain; with my temperament. Despite never actually doing accountancy, I seem to have found myself always doing a lot of it.

I like fixing things and building things and taking things apart. I like making things (and people) work in the fastest, most efficient way possible. I can take a computer apart and rebuild it, and there’s a 90% chance it’ll still work when I’m done. Either way, I dig doing it.

I like the idea of the reclusive, artistic type, but the reality of it bores me. I thought about becoming a writer, but my stories tell better with sound. But I love working with words. I love the sophistication of them; the simplicity of them; the complexity of them. And getting them to flow in perfect rhythm fuels my obsessive mind.

I half considered becoming an air hostess once, but I realised it was just the pilot thing again.

I studied to be an actor knowing that I would never really be one. I just liked writing dark, twisted monologues and having the chance to perform them, so I guess I would’ve liked to be a playwright. Probably a bad, very self-involved one.

I’ve been a waitress, a barman, a club manager, a PA, a pretend graphic designer, a pretend photographer, a retail manager, a filing clerk, a data capturer, and a pretend IT consultant. I haven’t loved it all, but I’m better for it.

I often dream of being a race car driver. I love driving. Good thing, with all that touring I’ve done. There’s loads of adrenalin-fueled careers I’d love to dig my claws into. Most not ideal for a pianist who needs all her fingers (and ribs) intact, but I get to enjoy small moments of a life I could’ve easily loved.

I always thought that I had to choose one thing, but I’ve learned very quickly in the last 90 days that I don’t. I can be anything and do everything. I make music, and balance books, and play with spreadsheets and formulas, and design processes, and test games, and develop concepts, and write copy, and edit copy, and build things, and act out voices for ads, and photograph models, and pretend to be a model, and edit video, and make things work… and then I write about how I feel in all the spaces in between, in songs that make my heart feel like it will all be okay in the end. Because I can. And because that’s all just as much a part of who I am as the one part I’ve let everyone see. And I dig it all hard. I kinda dig being me.

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© Shannon Hope 2017