Military mama: Still time to figure out ‘what I want to be’

Every once in a while I look around my house and just wonder how in the world I got here. How these three angelic little devils came into my life and how I’ve been married for almost seven years. I swear it’s impossible since I’m only 21, in my mind. I often feel like I’m still just a kid, yet I have my own.

When my oldest recently asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I told him I sure didn’t know. I want to do it all and be it all. I write, I photograph, I act, I design, I mother, I play and I laugh and I plan to continue it all. I did remind him that I was technically already a grown up. He clarified that he meant when I was a “real grown up.” So in that moment, judgment was passed and I agree, I’ve got a long way to go.

The only times I feel like an adult are when I’m paying bills, dealing with family conflict, cooking or cleaning. It’s no wonder I tried to avoid domestic duties as long as possible, it makes me feel old. In my mind, housekeeping causes wrinkles.

It’s kind of interesting because two generations ago if you didn’t know where your life was headed at 18 you were a burden to society. My parents’ generation were given a few bonus years to figure it all out as they attended higher education. But if you weren’t solidly committed to something by 25 then you would be classified as a freeloader. My age group are less tied down than any before, kindly excusing the hippies, and it is almost fashionable to be considered a free spirit.

Our spouses do not fit into the slacker category, since they are committed to their careers often from a young age. Even with this career path it is incredible to think that even with the longest service, the ability to retire fairly young is out there with plenty of room for a second life. It is within reason that fully committed to the cause, our husbands or wives will also have the opportunity to figure out what they want to do “when they grow up.” The possibilities are endless.

So when my son tells me that he wants to be a rock star/fireman I have no problem seeing that happening for someone as determined as he is. But as for me, I remember when working on my degree in theatre arts I was often questioned about what I would do with that. For all of those skeptical folks, and now for my curious son, my answer remains the same. “I’ll do whatever I want!” I am committed to be ever-evolving, it keeps me young.