As a child I remember adults asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I gave generic answers…teacher, doctor, missionary, journalist….my answers always depended on which group I was around. If I answered journalist to the church group, it would be met with disinterest, however, if I stated that I wanted to be a missionary, I could count on excitement, encouragement, and pride. My school friends were intrigued and maybe a little impressed when I spoke about being a travelling journalist to war-torn countries. Honestly though, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Living such a sheltered life as I did, the world seemed gigantic, full of possibility, so how could I just pick one thing to be? I wanted to experience it all!
Throughout my adult life I have changed jobs and professions countless times. Typically I lose interest in what I’m doing, like banking, or my expectations were not what the job truly is, like the homeless shelter, or the money doesn’t match the effort I was required to put in daily, like the major online retail fulfillment center. But the consistent reason I jumped from job to job was that I grew tired of working so hard to fulfill someone else’s dream. I did the “why should I help you fulfill your dream when no one is helping me to fulfill mine?” song and dance to justify my latest resignation.
Several years ago I decided that my dream was to work for a local women’s only fitness club. I found the name of the owner and wrote her a long heartfelt letter as to why I wanted to work for her club, why I wanted to support women, and why fitness was important to me. She responded to my letter just as I had hoped and I started a very nice career for a few years with her two fitness centers. However, after a year or so, I began to realize that the club was not just about the members and their goals like I thought it should be, it was also about the memberships and the contests and the product sales. For me, those things were not as important as helping women fulfill their fitness goals, and so I grew tired of peddling merchandise and calling members to ensure their monthly payment. It was clear that I was ignorant when it came to business matters, so my expectations didn’t match the reality.
But through all of these career changes, I was developing my creative side and working hard to develop what I believed to be my true passion. I learned from other great artists and creative folks how to mold and create one of a kind life castings for people. After nine years of development and experience, what I can create for others fulfills me greatly.
It was also during this time that I recognized a need for a secular celebrant in my area to officiate non-religious. personal ceremonies. Through a great deal of training and continued education, experience, and valuable advice from others who were doing it themselves, I now pride myself on creating ceremonies for others that reflect who they are as individuals rather than a generic ceremony that is often, but not always, practiced without enthusiasm. Each ceremony I perform is done with great respect and joy for the person or persons entrusting me with such a responsibility.
It would be incredible if I could just do these two things full time, I think daily. Waking up in the morning to a day filled with creating ceremonies, or preparing for a pregnancy belly cast or family hand casting, would be the stuff dreams are made of. The stuff my dreams are made of. But in order to have this dream come true, I need people to believe in me, to trust in my abilities, and to take a chance on me. I need people to recognize that what I’m doing is valuable because without that support, I will never fulfill my passion.
Because you need support to fulfill dreams. Just like that fitness club, the bank, the online retail fulfillment center, and the homeless shelter. Every purpose in life needs people working to make it happen. Those who lead it with their ideas, those who toil to make sure the ideas work, and those who labor to put the ideas into action. It takes all of us.
Not all dreams are the same. Those who are leaders in banking don’t have the same dreams as those who own a fitness club. And those who own retail fulfillment centers don’t necessarily have the same goals as the non-profit homeless shelter. But what they all have in common is this, people working hard to fulfill the intended goals of the company or organization.
Now back to what I wanted to be when I grew up, I still can’t give you a specific profession. What I want to do right now is officiate secular ceremonies and create one-of-a-kind life castings. In the meantime, I’ll continue to help my employers with the support they need to fulfill the goals of their business and/or organization. Knowing that it might not be a specific profession, but something worth doing, and also worth doing well.
Until next time