What do you want to be when you grow up? The answer may surprise you.

When you’re a kid and adults ask “What do you want to be when you grow up?” your answer is limited by the jobs you’re familiar with because you’re young and you’re very stupid. A police officer came to the house yesterday, I want to be a police officer! Big Bird teaches me how to count, I want to be a 7 foot tall bird monster! Dad locks himself in the basement for a few hours every night, I want to be a locksmith! By the time you’re done answering, the adults have already forgotten the question, as they’re in the middle of their third panic attack of the day induced by their own job.

As a child, my first love was baseball, so that was what I wanted to be when I grew up – a professional baseball man. To be honest, I really just loved baseball cards and was so-so on the whole going outside and playing baseball thing. But still I went to the stupid practices and played in the stupid games. My ego was dealt a devastating blow when I was 8 and a ball rocketed into my finger, shattering the bone in my very delicate pinkie. With tears in my eyes I ran to my father in the stands and screamed, “I don’t wanna play baseball anymore,” holding my jacked up hand in front of me like it was on fire. He knelt down, patted me on the head and said, “Well then why don’t you become a fucking ballerina, instead?” Now if this was a really good story I’d rip off my tearaway pants, reveal a pair of leggings and pirouette across your mind’s eye, middle fingers saluting the heavens. Like, “I did it Dad. I did it because of you.” But no. 8 year old me thanked god that neither of my thumbs were broken and continued playing Mario 3.

I want to be a royalty-free stock image when I grow up.

I want to be a royalty-free stock image when I grow up.

Thankfully, we live in a world where you can take a quiz online and figure out what you want to be when you grow up, even if you’re already grown up. No more daydreaming on the side of a hill, looking up at the clouds, pondering your existence. Just answer some questions like “What is your favorite color” and “In a group of six friends, which are you most likely to be.” I answered “white” for both. With a resounding 84%, the internet said that I should become a “criminal.” I’m not sure what the percentage represents, and while I agree with the assessment that I “enjoy the rush of getting down and dirty,” I need a bit more stability and less gunplay in my life. Number two with a bullet was Dare Devil, but I’m not sure if that meant I should become a blind, crime fighting lawyer or some off-brand Evel Knievel, dead and penniless at the bottom of a gorge. I didn’t read the rest of the results because I was distracted by another quiz titled “How Tennessee are y’all,” which, if you’re wondering, I am 34% Tennessee.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what you want to “be” when you grow up, because a job is just a job if you’re lucky enough to have one, but it’s not who you “are.” I mean sure, we all wanted to be Robocop when we grew up, but Robocop was a good man… or at least a good pile of flesh. And all that pile of flesh wanted to do was see his family again and shoot rapists in the dick (nsfw) with a gun that popped out his leg. The point is, I need a way to go back in time and warn my 8 year old self that your job is going to be soul sucking and boring for the rest of your life, and none of your dreams will come true. Get really good at online gambling, maybe invent something like a 3 cent mini nickel or a rake that’s actually two rakes. And when someone asks you what you want to be when you grow up, just say “a good person” or “a fucking ballerina.”

One Comment

  1. Owen Banner says:

    Came to a surprisingly good moral of the story here. When I was four, I wanted to be a pastor. So everyday I spent nearly 3 hours half-drowning my younger sister in a kiddie pool as I worked on my baptism game.

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