What did you want to be when you grew up? I have a very vivid memory of Age 6 Me saying that I wanted to be a judge. In the eighth grade, I wrote a paper about what it would take for me to become a neurosurgeon. In the ninth grade, I took an aptitude test that was the first of many to say “lawyer.” In college, I went in to become the next Jane Goodall, then I wanted to be in advertising, wait Art History, no, regular history. Hold on, political science, yes this! Then after college, I walked right into law school. After law school, I focused on transactional based law and the rest is history. Mediocre history. I am not pursuing what (obviously overly adult) six year old me wanted to be. I mean, I am very judgy about certain things, so I think I get it out of my system that way.
I don’t think I am doing what I want to do, let alone what I was meant to do. And I know I am not the only one. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects that 43,800 attorneys will switch professions by 2024. For context, roughly 52,000 people passed the bar in 2014. Extrapolating it out (and notice mathematician wasn’t a dream of mine) it looks like 8% of attorneys will change professions in ten years. I am sure there are similar statistics for other professions.
This raises two questions; first where did we get the idea that six year olds know what they are talking about? I mean now if a six year old came up to me and said ‘I know why the sky is blue,’ I just know the next words out of her mouth are not going to be about light refraction. Syllogistically, six year old us had no clue what the hell we were saying. Without pressure from my parents, I decided to go to law school. I may have messed up my life because of something I said when I was six. The second question is why did it take so long to question the six year old us? That is 29 years of blindly following some weird dream six year old me had. Good God. Almost three decades pursuing something I never asked whether it would make me happy or if it was something I would be happy doing.
I know this all means some big grand picture realization of being more aware of ourselves and attune ourselves to what makes us happy OR that I just need to get over it and learn to find what about my job/career/vocation will make me happy (shut up Mean Me, I deserve to enjoy what I do). Do you ever feel like this? I can’t be the only one right? What are we supposed to do? Visa wants their money; I don’t think I can afford a sabbatical to find myself. Do I just start trying out different things to see what I like? Or do I just start doing what I like more often and hope that it tempers my disdain for my work? Adulting is hard. Props to those among you whose six year old self got it right, or if you didn’t listen to her and ended up just fine.
I wonder if that 8% will figure it out and let us in on the secret…
Things Keeping Me Sane: Group texts. At any given time, there are multiple group texts happening. Where else can you get an inspirational meme, a joke about janky dating experiences, or reminisce about some horror story you all lived through? I mean the internet probably, but these are people you know and like/love and it makes it more personal that we all squeal at the baby panda gif. Also for real, the mad advice skills of my friends is amazing. So many life experiences and different perspectives to help you make a decision, or get you out of a jam without all the trolling and hate of the internet! Yay Group Texts. Or maybe just yay to great friends who love a laugh.