Little P graduates Pre-K this week. That’s graduating from what is essentially Pre-school; I don’t remember getting to have a party for surviving pre-school, but whatever. It’s the done thing over here so we are getting ready for this celebration.
I guess in a way it signifies her going from being a ‘little kid’ to being a ‘big kid’, which again, makes zero sense to me – but who am I to question this process? I’ve lived in the States almost 15 years now and I STILL don’t get the schooling system over here. Elementary, Middle, Junior High, High School – I mean seriously, how many different types of schools can one kid go to?
But, I digress.
With the munchkin graduating, my mind has been moving to the future, and in turn, I’ve been talking to P about what she thinks the future will hold for her.
Now granted, at the ripe old age of 5, her idea of being grown-up is a wee bit different than say, mine, but it’s encouraging (and entertaining) none the less. She has decided that she wants to be an astronaut… but before that, she wants to spend some time being a ballerina (and quite possibly a super hero, but that depends on when her superpowers turn up – of course). She would also like to spend a few years being a ‘fast car driving person’ (I’m assuming that means a race car driver, but it could just as easily be a representation of her Momma’s driving skills….) and wants to learn how to surf and be an artist.
And I think this is all kinds of awesome. But I also worry for her. I worry that her passion for multiple things will be ‘talked’ out of her by the time she’s ten. That the fact she wants to be and do so many things is going to cause grown-ups around her to say things like ‘oh, that’s cute. But you can only do ONE of those things.’ And if she hears it often enough, I worry that she will start to believe it, and a little part of her will die along with all those dreams.
Why do we have to have just ONE thing to be good at?
I realize it’s a common societal thing, but that doesn’t make it right. Heck, I’ve had a multitude of jobs, and personally, I like to think I was damn good at every single one of them (I’ve never been fired, so that must say something, right?). But I don’t think having so many different careers is necessarily a bad thing.
Why do we feel the need to squash anyone’s dreams of being not only great, but great at many things?
While I was pondering this, I happened to come across this TED talk by Emilie Wapnick: ‘Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling‘ (which if you have 15 minutes I recommend watching), and it totally makes sense to me. I know that 30 years ago, you picked a career and that’s what you did for the rest of your life, but these days, with so many ways to learn skills and having ability to explore other career options time and time again, right up till you retire, why would you settle for just one thing?
Personally, I hope that Little P does become a race-car driving, dancing artist, who also happens to like getting in a few good waves before heading off onto her next space jaunt (using her heretofore undefined superpowers to help her pilot her space ship, naturally).
So look out world, Little P is coming for you.
Till next time, dream big my friends.