When You Grow Up
I feel strongly that we are drawn to certain interests, that we have our own particular dreams, for a very important reason. They lead us to our purpose in life. When we find that, no matter what it is, we are happy and successful.
Like most kids, what I wanted to be when I grew up changed many times. And interestingly enough, all of those dreams made up who I am and what I do today. I used to watch American Bandstand when I was little, and I told everyone that I was going to be on that show. My parents thought that was cute.
For a while, I wanted to be a doctor; that is, until I had to dissect a frog in 9th grade! But that experience showed me that I had a strong desire to help people. I also wanted to be a lawyer for some time, until I found out how much school was involved. But I learned that I was interested in fairness, and in seeing all sides of an issue.
When I was taking piano lessons, I wanted to be a famous pianist. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I didn’t have the commitment that it took for that. But I did learn that I liked to be in the spotlight, and that I had a strong love of music. In the 8th grade, I wrote songs for our school play, and was convinced that I had a future as a songwriter and actress. I wrote for the school paper and planned to be a reporter. All of this led me to UCLA, to be near the entertainment industry.
While in college, I danced on American Bandstand. I worked at the school radio station, and my first job was at ABC Entertainment. I was a page, and got to hang out on the sets of all their big TV shows. Later, I started a production company, and I wrote songs and produced music videos that aired on Nickelodeon and Discovery Kids. When my son was diagnosed with ADHD, I became his advocate, and in the process helped other parents in similar situations. Now I’m an author and freelance television correspondent. I feel like all my dreams have played a part in this current incarnation!
My older son wants to be a screenwriter. The odds against selling, and then actually getting a screenplay produced are astronomical! Do I discourage him? No way! I say, “Go for it!” His dreams will shift and change and adapt as he grows. And whatever he finally ends up doing, he’ll be able to use the skills he develops while pursuing his interests.
I want my sons to be happy; not just when they reach their dreams, but all along the way. I encourage them to follow their dreams and desires, whether it’s to play for the NBA, star on Broadway, fly into space, or become the President of the United States. As they learn and grow they’ll discover that these are really archetypes that represent an aspect of their personality. They’ll understand themselves better and be able develop into the person they really want to be, and find a career in which they will excel.