What did you wanna be when you grew up?

I really wanted to be Cher when I grew up.  Then as I got a little older and more mature I realized  I could never be Cher.  So I refined my plans and decided I’d be Cheryl Ladd instead.

In highschool I started to lean towards something in fashion.  In university it was a lawyer.  Then I started to lean towards acting.  Acting turned into me becoming a television host, television hosting turned into writing, and hosting and writing finally morphed into me being a blogger.

If I had been smart I’d  have just looked at my Grade 3 or 4 report card and see what my teachers comments were.  Around that age is when we’re showing our true potential.  What we actually like and have an aptitude for.  Any later than that and we start to say we want to be be what we think we should be.  Things we think make us successful.   Lawyer, Plumber, Doctor, Fireman.

My teacher’s comments in grades 3 and 4 by the way?  They said I was an entertainer.  See?  I could have saved the money on the Law School Prep book and put it towards something that would further my career as an entertainer.  Like writing courses. Or a puppet theatre.  Or clown nose.

So as it turns out when I wanted to be Cher when I was a kid, I wasn’t far off.

When you boil it down, I wanted to be an entertainer (albeit with long black hair and of native heritage wearing sparkly pants with a feather headdress) and I ended up being, an entertainer.  Who sometimes wears a chicken on her head.

So now I’m wildly curious to ask you …

What did you want to be when you grew up?  And what did you end up being?

I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to hear the answers to one of my questions. This may be my best comment section yet.

Go!  (and have a good weekend)

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203 Comments

  1. jan says:

    I haven’t thought about this in years. First I wanted to be an artist from there I skipped along to various other creative choices. Next was fashion designer, not only could I draw outstandiing paper doll type designs but I could do at least 101 designs using 1 silk scarf and a Barbie doll. After the fashion design petered out when it became “uncool” to play Barbies, I traversed to interior design-which still interests me today. By high school all that I cared about was becoming a Mom-best job in the world! Now I am still a Mom & Grama & as well as a rather good artist if I don’t say so myself.

  2. lemur_lass says:

    In elementary, I wanted to be an oceanographer.
    Then when I was told girls don’t do that – a science teacher.
    Now, I am a wetland ecologist and professor. Go figure!

    Just one 2 year long detour in the finance/banking sector, but at least that gave me some perspective.

  3. Langela says:

    I wanted to be a secretary or a cosmetologist. My mother said neither of those was a good enough use of my intelligence. Now I’m a home schooling stay at home mom and farm wife. I like my animals at least. And they look really pretty with their fur/feathers all done up and lip/beakstick on.

  4. Shauna says:

    I wanted to be a model or an actress. My grandmother was a legal secretary for a big federal court judge and I always loved playing in her office, but I never wanted to learn to type because typewriters drove me nuts. By high school I was convinced I wanted to be a fashion designer. In college I switched my major to Interior Designer. I graduated and knew I definitely did not want to be an interior designer. Somewhere in between computers were invented and I loved them.

    I am now a legal secretary. But, I still really want to be an actress;)

  5. Sarah says:

    I wanted to be a stay at home mom (yay, goals!). Then I grew up and realized I would actually have to work, so I thought to become a teacher. Then I hated the classes I took, and decided to get an entry level job in an office somewhere, in hopes that my husband would eventually make gobs of money and my dream would come true. Still working and my first is on the way, my husband better ask for a hefty raise 😉

  6. Ali says:

    I wanted to be a fighter pilot until my brothers convinced me that all fighter pilots died before age 25. Then I saw Indiana Jones and was hooked for life on anthropology.

    Next year I will graduate with a PhD in the anthropology of sport and someone has promised me the hat and the bullwhip as a graduation present.

  7. Kim from Milwaukee says:

    I drew a picture of the flag hanging in the classroom in fourth grade, threw it in the trash. My teacher pulled it out and praised it. I’ve always had an artistic penchant, but I’ve never considered having an artistic type career. Grandma taught me to type when I was six with chicken pox and I’ve been typing ever since in many different jobs.

    Maybe I’ll be an artist when I grow up.

  8. karol says:

    I was going to be a nun, even had my name picked out… “Sister Clarice Thomas” hahahahahaha good one! Once I reached the legal drinking age, that went out the window. I have been many other things including a jewelry buyer, but settled into working for our local school board system as a graphic artist (among other duties)
    I laugh at the thought of 8th graders committing a career choice so young.

  9. Manisha says:

    I wanted to be an astronaut. Now, I just pin images of the stars and skies. I also used to read a lot and ended up getting a degree in literature which I use to simply find more great books to read.

    • Jane says:

      I always wanted to do art and applied to design school after high school but for a number of reasons didn’t go. After floundering for a very long time I became a potter and am now painting as well. In grade 3 my teacher mrs Ottman had me take my painting to show the principal. Her support of my creativity made a big impact. Yeah for all those teachers who see who you are and help you along.

  10. Tasha says:

    I wanted to work with kids. But NEVER wanted to be a teacher (good thing too, I would have been awful). Which is pretty funny, because what other job works with kids a lot?

    I am a speech pathologist now, and I work with kiddos under 5. Although I am thinking about changing things up a bit, and working with female-to-male transgender folks. For a small change of pace.

  11. Trissi V. says:

    My 3rd grade teacher said I wouldn’t amount to much…my fourth grade teacher said that I loved to learn and would let me do my own science experiments for extra credit.

    Middle school is where I should have seen the writing on the wall. I was the go to kid for the computer lab when something broke.

    So I struggled in college thinking that I wanted to be a doctor, ran away for a few years to live life abroad, came home and landed the job of my dreams.

    I am now a Tech Trainer and IT Support for my work. I get to study all the time (yes we do google issues a lot) and I get to break/fix things (I have only had 1 fire in my office in the last 2 years) and teach people how to use stuff properly. I love it.

  12. Sarah ATD says:

    I started ballet when I was about 4, so I wanted to be a ballerina until I was 16 and tore up my knee ending my (mediocre) career. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t good enough to make it, so I think the knee surgeries were a blessing. Suddenly I had a personality crisis, because all I ever wanted to be was a dancer. I also loved the outdoors, so I worked at Girl Scout camp and studied Environmental Health while I was trying to figure myself out. I took a hazmat class, and it was SO COOL! After that I started working in occupational safety and health and that’s what I’m doing today. I love it!

  13. Thera says:

    Very interesting, here is why…
    When I was 4 I wanted to be a ballerina, marry an Italian, live in a condo and have 5 kids lol.
    When I was 12, my music teacher had me audition for the Toronto School of the Arts (I got in, but we couldn’t afford the tuition).
    When I was 14 I wanted to be an auto-mechanic like my father, still not a popular choice in 1985 for a girl.
    When I was 16 I won the Craftsman Award in HS for graphic arts as I was still doing all the tech classes.
    When I was 19 I applied for and was accepted into the Army so I could fly a helicopter and do Search and Rescue, a week before my swearing in, I found out I was pregnant.
    I went to college to be a Law Clerk, never got into the field.
    Year before last I took ballet classes, I loved it and apparently, at the very least, I have ballerina feet and would love to do more, even at my age.
    Oh and we have 5 children, but hubby is not Italian though I still love Italian food and we would never fit in a condo.
    As for grade 3/4, in grade 4 my teacher gave me my first sketch book, so I would stop drawing all over everything else, through out the years I have taken the odd community painting class, drew and sketched all the time and today I am a fledgling artist at the age of 41.

  14. Susan R says:

    When I was little, I went back and forth between wanting to be an archaeologist and an astronomer. I ended up doing an astrophysics degree and did research for 13 amazing years. Then funding for science started to disappear. So I switched to computer programming. Not as thrilling to my soul, but still fun. Gotta make the best wherever you find yourself.

  15. Kim says:

    Great discussion. I always wanted to be an art teacher and professional artist. Consequently, I have owned three businesses to support those dreams-professional photographer, professional floral designer and now, one that supports my greatest creative love of all..jewelry design.
    (I also owned my own cleaning company to support the artistic dreams ; )

  16. Reg says:

    I wanted to be a beautician when I was very young. I thought it was wonderful to make women look beautiful. Turned out my big sis became a beautician and owned her own business back in the day when women didn’t own a business, much less raise a family at the same time.
    After going to school and finding out women didn’t get the same pay for the same work I became a letter carrier in the mid ’70’s, because the pay was the same for men and women. Turned out I loved it. Every day was a little different, got to meet people and didn’t need to join a gym. I’m retired now after 33 yrs. of walking the streets.

  17. Sboo says:

    It’s interesting to see how many movies/movie characters inspired us when we were children. Hollywood sure knows how to awaken the dreamer in us all!

    I wanted to be a Broadway musical star, without a doubt. Triple threat: singing, acting, dancing. Did tons of community theater and dance classes. Later I pursued a music degree, but the theory classes killed a lot of the joy for me so I switched to English. To tie into the 3rd/4th grade hypothesis, I wrote a story in 4th grade that my teacher used as an example for years afterwards, so writing had always been a strength of mine. Huge bookworm growing up.

    Anyhow, I realized I didn’t want to live in New York, much as I love visiting. After college I was a substitute teacher for a while thinking I might want to teach. [Nope, do not]. Now I’m on the editorial staff of a medical journal and I love it. I still sing all the time and am currently a member of two choirs – I’ll never stop!

  18. Diane says:

    I wanted to be a singer, then I thought I’d settle for marrying Jon Bon Jovi. That obviously never happened. I was always interested in writing but was never fantastic at that so I thought maybe editing would be a great way to tell others how to write. Ha! I ended up going to college for business, then computer programming, then I finally settled on health care. I’m still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up, to be honest!

  19. kate-v says:

    when i was little I loved planting seeds – my mother would buy seeds just for me I would tend my ‘crops’ mostly of flowers in those days. I still love planting seeds and the related gardening activities. I have had many ways of earning money over the years – but have always planted seeds

  20. Jamieson says:

    I probably wanted to be a smart ass.
    I have certainly realized that dream, as you can surely attest.

  21. Mel says:

    I wanted to write novels from as young as I can remember. I still want to write novels. But now I’m a law clerk. I hate my job. All of the legal work and not much of the legal pay. So now I want to be a lawyer. I’m 30, and I convinced myself (surprisingly, my husband and my boss needed less convincing than myself) that I should go to law school. So I applied and found out a few weeks later that I was pregnant. So now I want to be a mom and I want to write novels. Or be a singer. Does karaoke count as singing experience?

  22. Jodi T. says:

    Growing up, I always thought I would become a veterinarian… I love animals and that was my pipe dream… Until someone reminded me of the not so great part of euthanization. :(. After my dreams were sent through the ringer, I didn’t have the energy to get excited about anything else. I am an admin asst today for a great little company that is like family. I couldn’t be happier… Unless I was working with animals 🙂

    Happy Weekend, Karen!

  23. Patti says:

    When I was a kid, I wanted to be the center of attention, all the time. And I loved to draw and colour, so I decided I was going to be an art teacher. This stuck for a long time, with occasional bouts of being an entertainer, because in a family with five kids, you kinda have to have a ‘schtick’ in order to have people look at your for more than 10 seconds. I clowned around at 12 (literally – was Sparkles the Clown at birthday parties), was “Melissa the Magnificent”, a “terrific” magician for my neighbourhood, played in an air band and performed often for anyone who would watch. But I still knew I wanted to be an art teacher.

    Fast forward to high school, and I was in an art class. The students were horrible to the teacher, and tormented him on a regular basis. This is when I decided I didn’t want to be an art teacher any more – I did not want to be that teacher, red in the face, who couldn’t control the class.

    So I became a graphic designer. Went to Conestoga College and worked my butt off, and brought me to where I am today. My goal now is to be self-employed and do strictly freelance for my clients – lettering, specifically (LOVE TYPOGRAPHY) – it would be amazing! But you know what would be more amazing? Being a teacher of graphic design at the college that I went to. Yup. Some things never change(and also – summers off would be heaven, who are we kidding?)!

  24. Vanessa says:

    After going to a honey farm in pre-school I really wanted to be a bee keeper. Later I wanted to be a marine biologist until I realized that I had a fish phobia! All my teachers said I should be a lawyer because I was “analytical.” Fast forward 30 years, I have my biology degree and I work as an industrial hygienist…which is kind of like being a lawyer, I argue a lot. I hate it, I need to figure out how to be a bee keeper.

  25. Trixie says:

    I wanted so badly to be an astronaut. Then I watched Apollo 13 and decided maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. Throughout elementary/middle school, I wanted so badly to be a meteorologist, until I shadowed one and realized they just stare at computers all day. I became an engineer and now work in software…where I stare at computers all day. I think I still want to be a meteorologist again!

  26. Jack says:

    As I grew up I had no aspirations towards any career……..basically, I just let it happen. And it did. As I approached each intersection in life I made the decision as to what path to follow…..some worked out and others did not…..but it has been an interesting trip all the same.

  27. Dana says:

    I wanted to be a teacher. Specifically, a reading teacher. Everyone said that was a terrible idea… so I didn’t become a teacher. Instead, I joined the U.S. Coast Guard. And now, 20 years later, I’m also a small farmer. I believe whole-heartedly that serving in the USCG, farming, AND teaching are not “careers” but serving your community and that is a way of life as well as a way of love for yourself and your neighbors.

  28. AmieM says:

    I wanted to be a veterinarian, then a film director, then a vet again, then a crop geneticist, then a vet, then an environmental scientist.

    I work in IT, in an environmental agricultural non-profit.

  29. Ashley says:

    I wanted to be a marine biologist. Or a vet. Then I thought I’d be a science teacher. I even went so far as to get my degree in Zoology.

    I work at a college coordinating online courses. But I’m moving to a farm in the next few months so I’ll get my animal fix there?!

  30. monica says:

    first I wanted to be a princess; then a fairy. Once I realized those weren’t attainable, I went with the only skill / talent I had in spades: art. At an early age I started submitting drawings to Cricket magazine, and then other contests. Eventually I became a designer and worked at some of Chicago’s major attractions (museums, etc). Now I art direct children’s books, which I enjoy.

  31. Melanie says:

    I wanted to be an archaeologist, like Indiana Jones even learnt German cause thats what a lot of the texts were written in… ended up a primary school teacher, but I married a German so can’t be all bad!

  32. leslie says:

    I got busted drawing nudes (nothing nasty) in 3rd grade by a scary teacher’s assistant (black beehive and eyebrow pencil- sort of a 60’s, female Darth Vader). My teacher, Mrs. Toro, immediately took me out of the classroom and walked with me through the school hallways as I cried with shame. She assured me that the human body was a beautiful, miraculous thing and worthy of the attention and so many amazing paintings by artists all over the world. Today I am a painter- mostly figures and portraits (oil on canvas). Thank you and bless you Mrs. Toro!!

  33. Katherine says:

    I wanted to work with animals. Maybe animal husbandry with a wildlife habitat. I still wish I had gone that route. Instead, got a degree in history, did the museum thing, that led to marketing, then to graphic design, then to stay at home mom with no pets. But I love my life and consider to be very blessed. 🙂

  34. jules says:

    I saw “Funny Girl” when I was 4.From the moment of seeing her sing”I’m the Greatest Star”, I wanted to sing.
    I trained in opera, when I was in college.
    I had a career as a professional singer, now a stay at home mom, singing to kids that say”Please mom. no more Stephen Sondheim”.
    At that point I switch over to “Ole Man River”.
    Your theory applies to me for sure.
    You are a joy, I must say.
    Thank you

  35. Amanda says:

    My 3rd and 4th grade teachers just said I talk to much. I wanted to be a ballerina, then an architect, and then an electrical engineer like my dad. Mostly because I thought it meant I would drive trains.
    I did become an electrical engineer, but then I went back and got a business degree – I didn’t get to deal with people enough as an engineer.
    You know, because I like to talk…

  36. Jamiek says:

    I wanted to be Paul McCartney’s wife. Then he met Linda and my dream went to Hell. He broke my heart.

  37. Emily T says:

    I wanted to be Vanna White. She had/has the best job ever. She gets to wear pretty dresses and she just has to smile and wave her arms around. I practiced. For a very long time. I think I could still do it.

  38. Natalie says:

    I wanted to be “an artist,” whatever that means. Which translated to lots of printmaking and graphic design in school. Now I’m a gardener, and I do small design projects for friends occasionally. It is working out well.

  39. Kathy says:

    I always wanted to be a mom who stayed home and took care of her family…and that’s exactly what I do. I did get a degree in educatin and was a science teacher before having kids, and I truly LOVED teaching…and of course those skills are used at home now.

  40. Kari says:

    When I was really young, I wanted to be an archeologist (which was sorta weird because most little girls wanted to be nurses or teachers). But, as I got older and realized I didn’t really like being outdoors or digging in the dirt, I decided to become a nurse. I graduated from college and worked as a hospital registered nurse for about six years. Then, I decided to give up my career to be a full-time stay-at-home-mom (we have four kids). As a nurse, I worked primarily with elderly patients and I loved that. But, the hospital setting was often understaffed and very stressful. I don’t really miss it at all. I sometimes wish I would’ve chosen a different career, something that I could still do now and then.

    • Linda says:

      You should check into being a Home Health nurse…most companies are always looking for PRN nurses…stressful at times, but you mostly work with elderly patients and can make your hours fit your schedule.

      • Kari says:

        I tried to get back into nursing about four years ago. I re-instated my license and took a refresher course. I applied for at least 10-15 jobs and nobody was interested because of the length of time I’ve been out of practice (I haven’t worked in 15 years). I guess I can always try again in the future if I really need to.

  41. Jan says:

    You know, in kindergarten, I wanted to be a scientist, and sure enough, that’s what I am! (although I’ve gone to the dark side in Administration now 🙂

  42. Sarah In Illinois says:

    I first wanted to be an artist. Then I wanted to be an architect. Then I found out architects have to go to college for like 8 years or something and THAT wasn’t happening. So I got a degree in Construction Management with a minor in architectural drafting in 1999. HOWEVER, I never did construction, I stuck with my job of selling auto parts since I was 16. I’m 36 and I still don’t know what I want to be.

  43. Ann says:

    You know what’s funny? I can’t remember a single thing I really wanted to be growing up. At least not anything with substance. I always wanted to create things and to grow things but no single occupation ever dominated my vision.

    But I ended up in medicine as an xray tech. I ended up there almost accidently, or as I like to say, at God’s hands. And from day one, I loved what I did. Didn’t always love my job but I loved taking care of patients and creating images that helped to make them better. I know not everybody gets to have an occupation that is also a passion but I wish they did. Now that I am retired….and not happy about it…I miss the ability to work with my MRI scanner, the docs, the patients and most of all the ability to produce those magic images. But the economy what it is, no one is hiring after we moved here to Tennessee. And I am so busy creating and growing stuff that I am not sure I would want to give that up to go back to work.

  44. SuzyM says:

    Hmm, thought-provoking….I wanted to be a bunch of things but practicality stepped in, along with the times and I went to school to become an art teacher. I was creative and passionate about art, but, it turns out, that’s not really what teaching is about, so after student teaching I became a designer and then I became a publishing person and an editor. Kids came along and when it was time to return to the workforce, the downturn in the economy became the challenge. I’m still looking but anyone who tells you that age discrimination is not an issue is uninformed. Turns out that all this experience is just years of experience…… Now I spend many hours a day doing dog rescue, fostering dogs and working with other volunteers as we run an online store. It’s allowed me to gather all my skills to make a positive impact and to save some dog’s lives in the process.

  45. Jo says:

    After watching Jurassic Park I wanted to be a paleontologist, and after watching Free Willy I wanted to be a marine biologist. As an adult I realized I hate the desert sun and boats make me nervous, so now I’m in video production making movies instead of taking my cues from them 🙂 I still think science is cool, though

  46. Janet says:

    Oh my goodness…. I forgot the chickens. I have doctored hundreds of chickens over the years.

  47. Janet says:

    I wanted to be a nurse, or a doctor. I ended up being nurse/doctor to 12 kids and innumerable animals, including fish, turtle, dogs, cats, horses, goats, ferrets, calves, pigs and chickens. Oh, and a few skunks and coons – but I was more of a Palliative care doc with them. 😉

  48. Lisa says:

    I wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic.How cool would it be to travel the world and take photos for a living!! But coming from Bugtussel Canada and a less than well off family I had to change gears and take something more realistic.Ended up being a communication tech/installer and that allowed me to travel provincial wide and take photos (off hours,of course..nudge nudge..wink wink). Now retirement is looming..then I am going to travel and take pictures…won’t get paid but hey..still get to take pictures..:)

  49. Mary Kay says:

    I wanted to be a teacher and ended up as an accountant – I am really good with numbers. But I am a Girl Scout Leader so I guess I do teach a little bit.

  50. arlene says:

    HA! I wanted to be an astronomer — but by grade 8 my teacher talked me out of taking advanced level math in high school saying it was only for people who wanted to be astronomers… being too shy to confront him, I took general maths – graduated with a 98% – went on to be a cartographer for 20 years ending that career publishing and marketing satellite images of the EARTH from SPACE — kind of opposite of being and astronomer… Then picked up a paint brush and started looking a little more closely at the world around me — every blade of grass, speck of light, cast shadows and reflections… I kind of think my final days will grind to a halt living in a small cave painting miniatures of bacteria by candlelight ~~

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