What do you want to be when you grow up? Someone asked my son this question when he was three years old. He looked sideways in deep thought and then responded, “A stranger.” He is grown up now and he is, indeed, a stranger to many people.
After having twelve children and raising eight of them to adulthood so far, it seems like by now I ought to have reached a conclusion about my purpose and calling in life. I keep waiting to feel finished and sure of myself. I’m still waiting.
Feeling unsure about whether I’m doing exactly the right thing at any point in my life is actually good. It keeps me seeking, on my knees, and always listening.
I think that people who wait to know if they’re doing all the right things before they start doing anything end up doing nothing, mostly out of fear and self-sabotage.
I haven’t arrived. But sometimes I catch a glimpse of who I want to be when I grow up. It’s recognizable in older people and the fruit in their lives. When I grow up, I want to:
- Wear lipstick and earrings when I’m ninety-three.
- Be the lady who encourages others with a cheerful perspective.
- Accept and freely give physical affection.
- Stay present in the moment and live life instead of living online.
- Learn to use new technology.
- Stay fit and energetic with exercise as much as possible.
- Read and learn continually.
- Avoid talking about my health problems and current physical status.
- Stay sweet and not get bitter.
- Be gracious and forgiving and grateful.
I may not be completely sure about all the stuff I’ll be doing in the future, but I can get started on this list now. It’s not going to happen magically when I turn 65, that’s for sure. We become what we do in the every-days.
Rather than get frustrated because I don’t have the 10-year plan, I’ll keep my eyes on the Maker of Plans and do what I know right now. One day I’ll look up and find myself in places I never imagined. Come to think of it, I do that now.
Think about what–and especially, who–you want to be when you grow up. Live towards that instead of getting there and wishing you would have. Wear lipstick and earrings now if that’s your daydream, and do things that feel uncomfortable if that’s who you want to become. If they are good and right things, the feeling of discomfort is a good sign that you’re really supposed to do them.
What (or who) do you want to be when you grow up? How can you start moving towards that today?