I’ll Never Grow Up

When I was in the third grade and got a junior chemistry set for my birthday, I expected that when I grew up I would be a Rocket Scientist – whatever that is. When I was in fifth grade I was given the opportunity to compose an essay in hopes that it would be selected to be the “Valedictorian Speech” at fifth grade graduation. Well that essay won, and I was subsequently given the opportunity to read my essay to the graduating class and everyone who attended the ceremony. As I was walking off of the stage, my teacher told me that, based on my essay, I could be a lawyer or a politician. And so a new dream was implanted into my mind.
I went through middle and high school, conquering puberty and all of my classes in one broad sweep. I took advanced government and law classes along the way, further reinforcing in me this idea that I had that I would one day become a successful lawyer so that I would, in turn, become a successful politician. But then I had to choose a major when I got into the University. I did some research. Instead of choosing the obvious route and becoming a Political Science major (or Economics, or Business, or History, or any of the other typical majors one might select with that path in mind) I chose to become a Philosophy major. I’m sure you know where this is going by now…
As time went on, I realized that studying philosophy was one of my dearest passions. I realized that I was a thinker at heart and in mind. So I “decided” that I would pursue graduate education in philosophy and become a professor of philosophy.
But then I got an internship in sales. And then I became interested in computer programming. And then law again, and then social issues and then…I took a step back. I paused. It was then that I reflected on all of the possible career options I had available to me. It became clear to me that there was no need to decide on a fixed career path – I could have it all!
I subsequently made it my business to study the programming languages I thought most useful to me, continued with my formal philosophical inquiries, started writing so that I could nail-down all of the ideas floating around in my head and continued teaching others in every way that I could about everything that I could. Why? Because I realized that I would never actually finish “growing up”. To become a “grown-up” implies that one has finished growing. But I would never dream of ever stopping my quest for truth and knowledge. That’s when I realized that I would never become a grown up. I am, fundamentally, still a kid trying to decide what I want to do when I “grow up”.

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