When I was 10, there were so many careers I was exposed to, some of them that peaked my interests.
Career Day came about, and a woman of color came into my classroom and discussed her position as manager of a local bank to myself and my classmates. I was quite intrigued with her description, and blown away with what she’d done to get to where she was. Other careers, such as being a doctor or lawyer intrigued me as well, but once I found out how much education was needed to do either, I realized I’d be more comfortable doing something that came easily to me. That something was writing, for I’d read many books (not to mention was ahead by two reading levels) and wrote much poetry between elementary and middle school.
I was also influenced by musicals like The King and I and Mary Poppins and animated films such as The Lion King, Toy Story, and Ferngully: The Last Rainforest (that movie is AWESOMESAUCE; I don’t care what ANYONE says), wanting to be an actress. As a child, I thought of it as a wonderful profession, being able to dress up, play make-believe for the masses, and get paid for it. Another thing I was involved in was peer mediation, taking a workshop in fifth grade. It was fun, and I got a certificate in the end.
What am I now? A blogger who spends many hours of the day on the internet. But I can say my dreams haven’t necessarily been a waste: I’ve taken advantage of background roles in small, independent movies, internet videos, and a show for a popular network, as well as acted in an off-off-Broadway production; been introduced to several fandoms that I’d never thought I’d be into until I gave them a chance and realized how amazing they are. I’m not a famous YouTuber, but I’ve got a couple of vrants on my own, little-known channel. I’m not a published, best-selling author, but I’ve already written two full-length novels that are still rough drafts and a plethora of fan-fiction I’ve posted onto websites linked somewhere on this blog. I’ve also got a pretty reasonable following on Tumblr (2,283 followers) and Twitter (a bit over 800), gained over a five-year span. People like me and what I have to say, 10-year-old me!
When it comes down to peer mediation, I haven’t resorted much to that since I’d gotten my certificate (which is long lost because my mother and I moved around a lot before my pre-teens), but I’ve taken the the things I’ve learned from that workshop and melded them together with life experience as I get older. The eventual use of this between myself and another party has come and gone, and I’ve learned that life goes on and it’s okay in the end. If I’ve learned anything from hat workshop, it’s life is too short and unpredictable to hold a grudge. If you can talk it out, agree to disagree, then all will be fine. It won’t be the same, of course, but it’ll be alright. It will be okay if the other party doesn’t see things the same way you do, nor are you in any way obligated to let them know otherwise, especially if they’re not ready to hear it.
What I wanted at 10 and what I want now are in some way connected. Not many people can say they’re doing or have already done what they’ve said at 10 they wanted to do when they grew up. And if they can, they — including myself — will tell you it’s not as easy as it was as a child. Children are fearless as long as the buffer of life doesn’t get in the way. When I say “buffer of life”, I mean the people telling you, as you get older, that what you really want to do, what comes easiest to you, isn’t what you should be doing or isn’t practical, and there’s the hard work of unlearning the behavior of editing yourself or holding yourself back from your fullest potential, no matter how many people or who says “You can do it!”
Would my 10-year-old self be proud of my current self? Maybe. She would be happy to know she’ll have the chance to act (even if it’s only one line, or being in the background), write novels, and be the best person she can be because that peer mediation workshop wasn’t a waste of time. She’ll be happy to know she’s made her footprint in this crowded world, and awesome people to meet along the way (including a handful of celebrities — YAY!) Doing this prompt has opened my eyes even more, and I realize I’m doing, or have done, what I wanted to do at 10. I’m fulfilling my dreams, if I haven’t already, and that’s something for my current self to be proud of.