It took me a couple of weeks more than 37 years to figure this one out. You know, the question that kids are asked before they can even write. The same question on which matriculants base their university and field of study choices. That one question on which people so often build their most precious hopes and dreams. An unfair question to ask a todler — even a grown-up, if you ask me! In fact, I have an idea that even most grown-ups can’t answer this question with absolute certainty and clarity.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Give it some thought. Are you now what you wanted to be one day, when you were faced with this question as a five-year-old? A fireman… a policeman… someone rich… a model… a teacher… a farmer… a beauty queen… a writer… an investigator… or perhaps a spy? So many of us had such pretty little big dreams about what we want to become when we finally grow up. Some of us were even lucky enough to become exactly that and live the dream we’ve dreampt up as kids. Some of us didn’t. No shame in that, either.
When I think back of one of my biggest dreams, I feel a bit shy about it actually. I wanted to become a TV presenter. Preferably of my own show. As a child, one of my idols were (giggles) Tannie Magda from the Afrikaans children’s show, Wielie-Walie. She was my rolemodel in so many ways — smart, vibrant, positive, pretty, and she left an impression with her words. I had this future plan of how I would be just like her one day, but instead of talking to Sarel Seemonster and Bennie Boekwurm, I would be hosting an interesting cooking show for kids. My co-presenters would be all sorts of interesting popular characters that children will know already and my guest appearances would include “normal kids”… like the young me.
That feels like a million years ago and, of course, it was a dream and only that.
Today, I am profoundly happy in my career (despite my occasional outbursts), and even though I do still dream about stuff like being a presenter of my own cooking show or becoming a crazy food editor of some sort, I am content in what I do. But in the past week or so, I’ve realised that this — a mere job — is not what I want to be one day. I want to be so much more than only a job or a silly job title.
What do you want to be one day, when you grow up?
Me? I simply want to be remembered.