The Evolution of Dreams: The Pre-College Standpoint

Little kids always have 1 of 5 dreams: doctor, vet, astronaut, police officer or teacher. Can you say lame? Not the kids themselves, just the options; looking at some of the careers we have, from wildlife photographers to animators to voice actors to scuba diving instructors, why would those get none of the youth dream spotlight? I admit to falling into the stereotype myself (the vet-wannabe) as a wee lass, although not before I wanted to become a princess at Disneyland. I’ll call that a slight victory in the name of originality, but really I had a thing for working in Disneyland as a boss. Anyways, that cut out after 1st or second grade before evolving into the whirlwind of ideas I’m still sorting through now.

Currently I’m a 20-year old junior studying abroad in Japan and soon New Zealand, quite far from home base in New England. I have 2 majors, Japanese lit/language and environmental science/policy, that are leaning me in wildly different directions. I’ve done a few internships in the hopes of narrowing down on something with no luck thus far. I mean, the internships were great but me? Ha, still a mess of a dreamer. I’m hoping this study abroad gig will be a bit more promising in helping me steer my butt somewhere as I slowly run out of time (graduation in 3 semesters? ack! no thank you!) but we’ll see. For now I’m going to do a rundown of my dreams, or the ones that I remember, starting from mini-me to modern-me and seeing what’s changed.

  1. Disney princess. More specifically, Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. I don’t recall my fascination with her as much as my mother likes to embarrassingly detail, but I did find one of those kindergarten ‘let’s draw what you want to be when you grow up’ and I’ll be damned, it was a stick me in a dress and crown. I used to groan and do the sheepish smile routine when this got brought up, but if mini-me was smart enough to want money adoration and a pretty chill job from the get-go I have no qualms about that. I think the castle was also an attractive prospect, and it’s something I’d still take.
  2. Vet. Always loved animals, always wanted to help them, the whole shebang you’ve heard from this typical kid before. I think this one stuck for a while, but the combo of crazy-long school and having to put animals down was a no-go in the end. Maybe middle school killed this.
  3. Bookstore/cafe owner. I was the kid who always had a book growing up. I didn’t care where we were going. Restaurant? Book. Doc’s office? Book. Shopping? Book. Grocery run with the cart pushing and everything? Book. Although I may not have read it in the grocery store – the cart was a pretty big (still is, if no one’s in the aisle and I can ride on freely). Naturally, I wanted to share this love with everyone and how better than to do that with a bookstore? Plus all the pastries that come from a cafe? Smoosh ’em together and you had/have my business pitch. This one’s still live, kind of, but not until the far far future if ever.
  4. Pro b-ball player. What? I always watched my state basketball teams – as in we had both men’s and women’s season tickets and not only went to every home game, but also flew to a bunch of different states to watch them – from age ~7 ’til I had to leave for school. That paired with more than a few years of rec league basketball had me dreaming of playing basketball long-term for college and beyond, but that died within 6 months. I think I only thought about it because we had to make a weird career map for computer science class, I don’t really know. I was never good enough for that though, so here was my big pipe dream.
  5. Magickal goods & plant store owner. I got pretty in with people who are spiritual, magickal, call it what you with it’s probably what comes to mind when I say ‘witchy things’. Crystals, herbs, pendulums, runes, tarot, books on Wiccan and Pagan practices and beyond. There’s more than that, but I’m sure you get the gist. Pair this atmosphere with a greenhouse that has plants for daily living and otherworldly purposes and I think you’ve got a good idea running. Another one that would require a lot of capital, research and more, plus finding a good location to grow the place would be complex, far too much so for my young and unsure self. So this one also gets a push to the far future, if ever.
  6. Editor. As I said above, I love reading. Unfortunately haven’t done much of it since college madness, but that’s another story. Since I love books and writing papers, I’d sometimes grammar check & whatnot for friends, which made the idea of an editor possible in my mind. From there I got to thinking about any fact-checking that may go into that, the wonderful things editors must stumble upon in so many areas from architecture to religion to culinary things. I mean, background things are important, so I’d probably get to look into this type of stuff, right? I’ve since evolved this from a dream focused on YA fiction editing to most any type, but it’s still there and alive.
  7. Florist. I went to an agricultural high school and specialized in plant science, which I came to love. My first/junior year of this had a whole semester on flower arrangements, so we were always making something new. That paired with the relative creative freedom that came at the spring and holiday sales, when they sold whatever we’d churn out (within reason), made this a super appealing gig that I’ve already had a taste of. I still wouldn’t mind doing this as a part-time or transition job honestly, but it’s not the top of my list.
  8. Journalist. I’d always been told by professors that I was a good writer in terms of clarity and research capabilities, and I’ll buy that. Hell, if my growing addiction to blogging, a daily 45 minutes+ of my day, doesn’t speak to my love of writing in some form or another I don’t know what does. My interest in this was more from an investigative environmental standpoint, and lately in the queer community. Nothing too specific though, and it’s been crossing my mind more and more often lately.

And that’s it, or at least the big ones, up ’til college. So where am I now? I think I’ve got a bit more of a idea (or 2 or 3) on things. My thoughts currently bounce around in the environmental field, with the Japanese major supplementing some cultural perspective, language skills and a more personally-fulfilling experience that I’d love to incorporate into my future but don’t yet know how to. I’ll delve into what I’m actually thinking in my next post on Thursday, but I don’t mean to bore y’all so I’ll wrap this up.


Check out the next post in this series, ’20 & Counting’. Coming 12/15.


*the italicized professions are still up in the air as possibilities within the next few years.