Did You Grow Up to Be What You Wanted to Be?

When I grow up I want to be a….

What did you want to be?

When I was much younger I wanted to be a teacher. And then I wanted to be a journalist. And then I wanted to be a section editor of a major metropolitan newspaper and win the Pulitzer Prize.

Somewhere along the way I figured out that I’m still growing up, even as a 40-something mother of three, wife of one, and there are many things I want to be when I grow up.

In the meantime, I am, among many other things:

  • a culture, management & leadership consultant and trainer
  • a public speaker
  • a writer, blogger, author

Friday I will be spending the day at Corban’s middle school for career day as a presenter. I don’t remember attending a Career Day at school as a child, but I do remember how I felt when Ms. Johnson, my high school English teacher, encouraged me to rework some of my poetry because she saw “potential”. I remember Mrs. Umlauf encouraging me to spend a week of my summer at journalism camp and learn the art of sports writing because she believed in me. I remember Mr. Studt asking me why I was wasting time on the poms squad when I could try out for the speech team. (I did both, so there.)

I also had parents who believed in me. They sat me down and told me that I shouldn’t pick one school over another just because of the financial aid package. They wanted to me chase the dream (Little did I know they also had a another dream of me writing for awhile, getting that out of my system and then going to law school. It was like a Korean drama/Inception kind of dream.)

I stopped and took a detour between “journalist” and “section editor”.

So help a presenter out:

What did you think you wanted to be/do when you grew up? And are you doing it? Why or why not? If you are, is it what you thought it would be? If you aren’t, what are you doing and how the heck did you get there?

And for those of us still growing up: What do you want to be when you grow up?


  1. Ryan March 22, 2012

    Novelist, three-star chef, restaurateur, president, and part-time astronaut are among my ambitions. Growing up seems a dull, frightening business. How are you enjoying it?

    • Kathy Khang March 23, 2012

      Growing up isn’t all that bad so long as you don’t take yourself too seriously.

      BTW, I love pho but haven’t had the courage to try to make it myself. Your photos made me hungry!

  2. Lindsay Feldmeth March 23, 2012

    I wanted to be a dancing astronaut. But I became a blogging opera singer instead. It’s a pretty good life!

    • Kathy Khang March 23, 2012

      Do you still get to dance? 🙂

      • Lindsay Feldmeth March 23, 2012

        No, but I occasionally take the shuttle out for a spin. Just kidding. I do take weekly dance classes! 🙂

  3. Auntie N. March 23, 2012

    I passed the Versatile Blogger award on to you! Visit my post to retrieve the icon and pass the love. Congrats!

  4. hwyfit March 23, 2012

    I am not the usual guy. When I was a young boy (12) I was asked what I wanted to study. My reply was simple, direct and never changed: Study business management in a very specific university of my country (ITESM in Mexico). And I did… it took a lot of determination, hard study and sacrifice. I was very driven and with lots of effort I finally did it.
    What I want to be now? Am in the process of what I want: self-made business man who can run a company the way he thinks it should be done, not as corporate dorks think it should. And one day – I hope- my case will be in the Harvard Business Review (in my head that would be my Pulitzer hehe).
    Not sure if this really answers you’re question, but reading your blog made me feel like writing it.

  5. Melody March 27, 2012

    Up to about nine, I wanted to be a bush pilot. (My parents were missionaries.) Then, I lost track of “my dreams” for about thirty years. But I have always been writing. I’m still figuring it out. How do you figure it out? Have you ever had a spiritual director or career coach?

    • Kathy Khang April 3, 2012

      I’m not sure I’ve figured it out, but I keep writing. I’ve had a spiritual director, but I worked with her through some difficult ministry transitions – very helpful. Never worked with a career coach, but I have informal mentors and friends who ask about my writing or lack thereof.

      Blogging helps me think through things, but not necessarily helping me hone in on what I want to do when I grow up. I’m hoping for that burning bush moment 🙂


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