What do you want to be when you grow up?
Adults ask kids this all the time, not really expecting an intelligent, well-thought-out answer. We could give the excuse that we’re giving them an opportunity to exercise their creative imaginations. Or maybe we plan on having a good laugh at a silly response.
Personally, I think it’s just one of those trite, awkward questions we ask of a child when we’ve just met them or don’t know them very well. It’s small talk for toddlers. Second only to “How old are you?”
Even if you don’t have a reason for asking, and no matter what response you get, you know from the start that it’s an exercise in futility. You can’t expect someone to map out a 40-year career plan on the spot at that young stage of life.
If that was a reasonable expectation, I wouldn’t even know what wind energy is. My name would be Lion-O and I would spend my days defending Cat’s Lair against the evil Mutants of Plun-Darr.
Funny thing is, the question doesn’t go away. It simply gets re-phrased with increasing degrees of meaning and urgency as you pass through the stages of life.
When you’re a teen, it’s: “Have you thought much about your future?”
You may end up going to college, where, upon graduating, you surprise yourself by asking: “What am I going to do now?!”
When you get married and start a family, the question becomes a statement: “I’ll be whatever I have to be.”
From that point on, you might find yourself asking others the same silly question that you’ve never even been able to answer. Toddlers… teens… grads … dads.
One day, you’ll retire … from whatever your occupation was. This is the “grown-up” moment you’ve been striving for your whole life. You sit back and take an assessment …
“Have I become what I wanted to be when I grew up?”
I never thought I would end up in the wind industry. It wasn’t even on the radar. But in this industry I found something that I can get behind — something that doesn’t solely consume 40 hours out of my week.
If you’re receiving this magazine, chances are you are part of the wind energy workforce. If you find yourself disillusioned by the politics and uncertainty, or that you’ve lost what it was that drew you to the industry, assess your motives. If they’re different than what they were originally, rediscover that purpose, or you’ll constantly be asking yourself a different question:
“What have I become?”
Thanks for reading