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Some Thoughts: When I Grow Up…

posted Mar 26, 2011, 3:11 PM by Golden Knight

By Christian Romo


The two essays that every American child in grammar school is forced to write are farces. The first of these I am referring to is the narrow-minded “Why America is the greatest country in the world” prompt without even addressing the variance of the word “greatest” in the minds of fifth graders. The second prompt is more innocent, but, as I have learned about my constantly changing tastes, potentially more dangerous. We have all had to write one, or several, “what I want to be when I grow up” essays, and these have left me with noticeable marks on my psyche.

Some of my earliest prayers involved me petitioning to God to turn me into Batman when I grew up. When I became infatuated with baseball diamonds, I was sure I was going to be a world famous t-ball player. Upon the discovery of such advanced arithmetic as fractions and long division, I declared to my mother one day that I would do nothing but multiply numbers for a living. A day trip to Sea World had me mesmerized by the wonders of marine biology, something that instantly took the place of mathematics as my dream career. As I approached my wiser pre-teen years, my aspirations matured as I entertained the thoughts of myself as a lawyer, politician, and talk-show host. My four years in high school, amongst many other moments of enlightenment, have given me concrete reasons why I would hate going into every single one of those fields.

So, what do I want to be when I grow up? As of this very moment, I want to write for a newspaper, and according to “rational adults” to whom I share this desire, they believe any one of my previous wishes would lead me to greater success. I do not want to be a lawyer not only because I don’t think I have the will to study nonstop for eight years but also because I feel I will have to make some sacrifices in my moral judgment to be a successful attorney. Trips to Washington D.C. have turned me off to American politics and insights into the radio industry have had the same effects on my talk-show aspirations. I can’t swim very well, I never want to take a math course again, and professional t-ball players require tedious day-jobs. I have no reason why I still wouldn’t want to be Batman, but I would need to grow at least six inches in every direction, something that would have needed to happen a couple years ago.

Besides scrapping every idea I’ve ever had for my professional life, these insights have done some good for me. If I find reasons why journalism wouldn’t be a good fit for me halfway through college, I will no longer be surprised. The idea of a career path shift midway through an expensive education would frighten some people, but I won’t be worried. A graduate student once told me that if you leave school with more questions than answers, then you were educated correctly.

So when I grow up, I want the Mets to be better than the Yankees, I want the harmonica to be re-introduced into popular music, and I want every bottled soda to come with a twist-off cap. With regards to my job, I just want to be happy. I don’t know where that will lead me to, and I’m cool with that.