It’s a funny thing to have both decided on a set future, and also be completely incapable of explaining that plan to anyone.
Its a commonplace question, asked from insecure adults who are looking for answers themselves, what do you want to be when you grow up?
I usually reply with whatever shallow answer I think they want to hear. ‘I’m going to be a lawyer, or and actor.’
They nod approvingly and wonder if they too should have steered themselves towards becoming a lawyer or an actor. Maybe, they think to themselves, they would have been happier if they had.
But as soon as the conversation has ended, I always assemble the sentence I wanted to say, in my head. Everything I wanted to say was this: I don’t know exactly what career I’m going to use to catapult me into my grand “To-Do” list but I know I’m going to tick the box of every item on it.
I know I’m going to travel the world. I’m going to get to know the alleyways of Rome intimately and the mountains in Alaska like the back of my hand. I know I’m going to drive through cowboy territory in America listening to country music that’s way too loud, and I know I’m going to dance like one of those girls with feathers on a ship somewhere way out to sea.
After that I know I’m going to pick my favourite spot from all my adventures and settle down in my own little home. I know it’s going to be Scandinavian design influenced and I’m going to build all the furniture myself, out of recycled pallets.
Then, husband or not, I’m going to have a child. And I will raise them like my best friend. They will grow up all over the world. They will have friends on every continent and be able to seduce someone in French and yell at someone in Spanish or Italian.
When they are no longer dependant on me, I will take to the sky and sea once more.
And I will travel this world until my bones break and my breath gives way.
But that’s not exactly the answer I can give when people ask me ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’