From a young age the question is posed to us, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" The first time we are asked this question chances are we're four or five, maybe a parent or teacher asked us this question. I remember being asked for the first time and from what I can recall my answer was indefinitely along the lines of a princess or a mermaid- quite possibly a mermaid princess, basically The Little Mermaid if you will. It wasn't until much later I realized you can't major in that in college.
The next time we're asked this question, on a more serious level, we are probably in middle school. At this point in our lives a select few of us my have actually had a small idea of what we wanted to do with our futures. Personally at this point in my life, music had my whole heart. If couldn't be a Broadway starlet I wanted to be a music teacher. I actually found myself becoming more and more musically inclined with each NYSMA competition, chorus or orchestra concert, and with every new musical score I learned I fell more and more in love.
Now, the next time we are asked "What do you want to be when you grow up?" we find ourselves in junior year of high school, maybe our senior year, and here is where this question really counts. We find ourselves in a guidance counselors office, it's covered in motivational posters and brochures from different colleges, organizations, and causes. It's at this point in our lives we find ourselves at a cross roads in a lot of different ways, the things we find ourselves most passionate in may not have the most lucrative future so, we follow with things that we're good at and we go forth and decide on something that will provide us with a stable future. We all have a friend who took the leap and majored in fine arts or musical theater and is auditioning for shows or working on a piece while working at our local smoothie shop to pay off their student loans. My biggest fear at 18 was becoming this person. In my early teen years I had committed to becoming a music education major, leaving my Broadway starlet dreams behind me along with lip smackers lip balm and heavy black eyeliner in middle school.
Now, at 21, almost 22, years old I am not a music education major, the only time I sing is in the car or in the shower. Occasionally you can catch me at karaoke or performing a one woman show of Hamilton in my bedroom. After attending my local community college with a major in Liberal Arts, three semesters in, I dropped out. I hated college, I hated what I was learning, I lacked passion in everything I was doing. I was so frustrated with myself for completely disregarding the plan I thought I'd created for myself. I didn't want to commit to a classroom because I wanted the pleasure of traveling in my work, I lacked confidence in my abilities for the first time in my life. How could I teach others something I lacked confidence in? All my friends diving head first into classes required for their majors, growing, changing, and learning, meanwhile I felt like I had lost myself, I didn't know who I was anymore. My only solace was found in all things beauty I found myself incredibly passionate about making myself and other people look and feel beautiful. Anxiety ridden and angry at the world I had created for myself, I committed to my happy place, the world of beauty. In January 2015 I entered a program to become an Esthetician and I found a happy place. I graduated less than a year later, went to New York Fashion Week three times as a Make Up Artist and a Social Media intern (and counting) and now have two wonderful jobs in the beauty industry.
Since I want to be able to one day have a bachelors degree hanging up in my office, I find myself heading back to the same college where I felt I lacked a fire to do much of anything with a completely different attitude. People would remind me that I'd reach this point and it felt as if I'd never escape the feeling of incompetence I felt day in and day out as everyone around me molded to their plan, this feeling felt completely unattainable. I'm here to tell you it's not, you have to just make a new plan and I'm so thankful I did.
Career wise, my future still seems a little fuzzy but I do know what I want to be when I grow up. I've decided I want to be hard working no matter which field I choose. I've decided I want to be strong, face whichever adversaries come my way. I've decided I want to be graceful, I want to have the power to encounter the worst of the worst and handle it like a classically trained ballerina. I want to lead by example for girls younger than myself, I want them to see a well educated, strong, graceful jack of all trades and channel that within themselves regardless of what field they dedicate their life to. As long as I'm a good person with those qualities and still have the ability to make others feel beautiful, I'm okay with whatever field I end up being in when I "grow up"