As a 7 year old, I dreamed of becoming a teacher. I remember lining up my dolls (and sometimes my reluctant younger brother) in old school style classroom parallel rows, and scrawling sums and spellings on my easel blackboard whilst lecturing my very attentive pupils. By the time I was 12, and the TV series Fame hit our screens, I dreamt of being a professional dancer. I would prance around my carpeted sitting room in my shocking pink legwarmers and my plaited towelling sweatband, believing I could dance as gracefully and look as cool as Coco and her co-dancers. Dazzled by thoughts of actually being part of the Fame dance troupe, I persisted with my self imposed practice and continued to dance through the discomfort of the carpet burns.
Then somewhere around my later teen years, when school and exams swallowed up most of my time, my creative streak turned to more practical thoughts; thoughts about the future, about a steady career, about a profession. And so to university I went.
Today as my kiddos grow, I watch their passions change and evolve. I have watched my DD gravitate from a love of arts and crafts when she would happily spend hours elbow deep in finger paints and sticky glue to playing sports at every opportunity. I have watched DS1’s love of rugby be replaced with a love of go kart racing. I have watched DS2 overcome his dislike of swimming to be thrilled to represent the school’s development swim team. DD dreams of becoming an international netball player with hopes of playing for England. DS1 dreams of becoming a F1 driver or a footballer and DS2 dreams of replacing Johnny Sexton (even though he doesn’t play rugby!) as well as playing for the Irish football team.
Sometimes I find myself wishing I had listened to my wise 7 year old self (I retired my legwarmers and sweatband as soon as the next teen craze came along!). When it is time for my kiddos’ to choose their paths, my advice will be to do something you love. It’s not a job if you do something you love.