When you were a kid, what did you wish to be when you grew up? Growing up is a never ending quest. I call it a quest because it comforts me to believe that I am moving forward in this endeavor of my own free will. It makes me feel empowered to think that I have a purpose to fulfill. My expectations of what life is like a few years ahead are always viewed with great anticipation. Those expectations drive me to think that in a few years this or that will be better, great, interesting, etc. Looking back to compare how my reality now days differs from what I thought back then is always different, of course, but not necessarily better or worse, just different. For one, My ultimate desire as a grown up was to be a mom and stay home taking care of my family, but the very modern family I had expected me to have a career and also drove me to work on something before I thought about settling down. In that regard, following their advice, when I was a kid I used to wish I could be a Catholic Priest, a Fighter Pilot or a Spy.
I have no idea why I wanted to be a priest, I liked the way they wore their long black cassocks through the beautiful background settings of The Vatican. There was no desire to perform the duties of a Priest I just wanted to be one so I could look like one. I much preferred their long robes to that of the plain skirts and white blouses of the nuns I knew and being a girl, I didn’t think they were pretty at all, so I wanted to look distinguished instead. Obviously, in reality I couldn’t be any further from that picture in my mind as a seven year old girl. I now find it an adorable thought because back then I had no idea what I was wishing for, nor was I framed by gender expectations either.
Another one of my thoughts into the future would place me as a fighter pilot. At the time, I used to watch a television show about The Flying Tigers of WWII. One of my heroes was Pappy Boyington and I wanted to be just like him. It was thrilling to watch all the air chases and confrontations with enemy pilots. I loved best that Pappy was always brave and daring. Looking back, I think I just had one of my first crushes and that’s why I wanted to be a pilot, as far as flying, that would have been nice as well.
The one thing that gave me the greatest expectations for my future and the one for which I did have a thrilling sensation of reality was that I could be a spy. Along with the TV show Kung Fu, James bond became my model for my future career while I got married. I had these two great tutors training me and I remember playing spy games with my friends all afternoon till it was dark. As the years went by, this one expectation remained in the back of my head as a possibility. Little did I know that as a mother of five, I would be employing all of my clandestine skills, specially the ones from psychological operations to contain, restrain and brainwash the little ones into submission. I can say that working for my own regime is not exactly what I expected, but it became somewhat of a reality.
The years of our childhood we spend on planning our future are full of wonder and awe. Dreams we come up with back then have no boundaries for our potential. We are our best supporter and proponent of the magical and fantastic abilities we could posses. As we grow up and are influenced by what we see in our reality, those dreams tent to fade away and we grow up to be completely different creatures instead. While I ended up getting married and being a mom, I didn’t stay home with my family as I desired until recently. In the meantime I had a job that did not resemble my dreams at all, but that did provide for a path to where I am now and for that I am grateful. You can say I took the scenic route and made it a little late, but I got there.