July 17, 2007

Growing Up


What do you want to be when you grow up?

We start hearing this question from a very early age. It seems clear to me that we are defined in this society by what we do, not who we are. Why has no one ever asked me who I want to be when I grow up? I think the answer to that question is much clearer for me.

Who do I want to be? I want to be loyal and kind. I want to be creative and energetic. I want to be loving and forgiving. I want to be encouraging and insightful. I want to be charming and sexy. I want to be smart and interesting. I want to be considerate and honest. I want to leave the world better for having known me.

I am not all of these things all of the time and on some days I am very few of them. But I'm trying and I'm doing much better at knowing who I want to be. Maybe knowing what I want to be will follow.

27 comments:

  1. Very true and insightful! Over the years "what" I want to be has changed with the circumstances, "who" I want to be evolves too with increased knowledge and a deeper faith in God and knowing who He wants me to be. I must agree that the question of who you want to be should be far more important than what you want to be.

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  2. well, I've never thought of it quite that way :)...but I guess you're right...Who we grow up to be should be as much a considered process with a goal in sight as What we want to be...

    Thanks :)

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  3. Great post!

    I absolutely agree that Who we are is more important than What we are.

    Thanks for the reminder!

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  4. OH, what an interesting and lovely post! You are so right, but i have never thouht about it, not really. Well, a bit, sort of..I want to be all these things that you want to be. But what i always are thinking of, is that it is important for me to be remembered when i am gone. Do you think that is strange? It is like, i want to do my best, be enthoustiastic, have energy and create. Create something that will always be there and something that never will be forgotten. Now i am thinking a lot..hmm..about who i really am now...I just want to be loved by who i am, regardless...For both, what i do and who i am..
    That`s the most important thing for me really...
    Well, my english is not the best and i wanted to say so much more, but i hope that you understand a bit of it :) Hug

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  5. I so believe that to be true.
    Rosemary

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  6. I'm so with you...I think that this is a very American thing...to be defined by one's "job".

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  7. WOW!!!
    Amazing post.
    I am going to put it in my favorite quotes.

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  8. that is so true...

    Who we are will give us what we will become... I'm still struggeling with what to become when I grow up, at 34!!!!
    Not long ago descovered that I don't know who I am.... quite surprising since I thought I had made my path, but no.
    Now I don't know where this will lead me, very exciting though, but one thing is obviously, it's away from my former path....

    So to conclude; It's crucial for kids to become who they are, before thay cand find out what they want to be ;O)

    Thanks for sharing.....

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  9. Wonderful post Jen. I think this issue is even more difficult for stay at home moms. I am often asked what I do. What I DO isn't really all that interesting. Who I am (atleast to me) is pretty worthwhile. I would love to figure out a way to answer this question with a response that says who I am instead. I'm still working on that!

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  10. What a wonderful thought - thank you for sharing... not only do I have the opportunity to ask myself that question, but that of my children as well :)

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  12. Lovely post, Jen...and so true.
    Well put!

    Linda

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  13. That is exactly what I think! I always hear people defining themselves by their careers....quite odd when you think about it. After all what's left when people retire? Does it mean they are now nothings? Of couse not! They are the person that was hiding under the job title all along...a loving grandparent, a funny eccentric, a creative soul. They are so much more than just a job. In fact some people get a real shock to find there was more to the person than just this.
    I'm always telling my children it's not important what they end up doing as long as they are happy and are contented. Contentment is something to strive for and we must have fun along the way.

    Love your blog!

    (Sorry about the deleted comment before...one too many typos and all.)

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  14. Great post and reminder too. Thanks.

    Heather

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  15. That is a wonderful thought. I am going to contemplate that very question myself AND present it to each of my three children.

    Suzann

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  16. That is a wonderful thought. I am going to contemplate that very question myself AND present it to each of my three children.

    Suzann

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  17. That is a wonderful thought. I am going to contemplate that very question myself AND present it to each of my three children.

    Suzann

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  18. That is a wonderful thought. I am going to contemplate that very question myself AND present it to each of my three children.

    Suzann

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  19. what wonderful thoughts...to be some of all you want to be is a good place to be...blessings, rebecca

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  20. What an inspiring post. Your photo is gorgeous. xoxo

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  21. Jen,

    After I got off the computer yesterday I picked up the book I'm currently reading, "Slow is Beautiful" by Cecile Andrews and read these words "What do you do? we ask when we meet someone. Even though I always try to substitute "Tell me about yourself", people still respond by telling me their occupations. And of course we pigeonhole people by their jobs. We think most lawyers are jerks, that elementary school teachers are a little silly,..."

    She goes on:

    "And then we start assigning people status points. We may think lawyers are jerks, but they get more points than a school teacher...And so instead of wanting our children to grow up just to be decent, caring people, we want them to grow up and get an important job. We don't say that we want them to be ethical people or kind people. We want them to be somebody rich and important!"

    I was like Wow! that is exactly what Jen was saying so I had to share!!

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  22. Wonderful post, Jen! You stated your thoughts so eloquently.

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  23. here here I totally agree. Another question I dislike is where do you live.People are so quick to pre judge you on such irrelevances

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  24. What a beautiful post. Really inspirational.
    x

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  25. In this day and age its not about the 'what' you are but the 'who' you want to be. People will remember that you are kind, loving, unconditional, creative, funny.....but will not always remember what you did. Its how you as a person make someone feel that will always be remebered and not what you did as job. You are very inspirational and thanks you for a great read and soooo love the photo. Meri

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  26. Love your thoughts on this! It reminds me of Oriah Mountain Dreamer's poem "The Invitation":

    It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
    I want to know what you ache for
    and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. ...
    Check it out at: http://www.oriahmountaindreamer.com/

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  27. Jen, that's beautiful. My eyes teared up when I read it. Very inspiring and I couldn't agree more.

    allie
    www.mycozyhome.typepad.com

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Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.