What Do You Want to be When you Grow Up?

The classic question. You’ve been asked it since you were probably in preschool. I remember when I was in kindergarden I vehemently and passionately wanted to be…a flight attendant. I know, so ambitious right? But I wanted to go to Disney World and I figured if I was a flight attendant I could get there for free.

By the time I was in 4th grade my dream had changed a little. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for a career but I knew, without a shadow of a doubt that I wanted to play basketball in college and not only that I wanted to be good. Unlike my flight attendant dream I actually pursued this one, with all my heart. I began playing AAU basketball in the summer, I worked out with a coach 1-on-1 once a week, and I watched women’s basketball like I was studying for a test. As a continued to grow up my dream got closer and closer. I played high school varsity basketball as an eight grader, I shattered records throughout high school (I’m the all time leading scorer, rebounder, and shot blocker among other things) and by the time I was a junior I had 11 scholarship offers for major D1 school.

Of course I loved basketball but somehow I knew that I wasn’t going to do it forever. I wasn’t one of those kids who thought that I was going to play forever, I never even had a desire to play pro or go over seas. When I came to Marquette I had another new dream. I wanted to be a graphic designer. As I began taking classes, honing my skills, and talking to professors and professionals about this career I began to become a bit disillusioned by the whole thing though. I knew that I loved the art, I knew that loved to design and problem solve and be creative but I didn’t (and to a certain degree still don’t) know what to do with that. I don’t want to go to a big corporate agency, I don’t want to work on brands like Coke and Nike. They have enough people advertising for them without me pushing my way in. It confused me though because I knew in a way, coming from Marquette that might be what I was expected to do. Could I be “successful” if I just went a worked at a little non-profit and told their story? Could I be “successful” if I changed my mind and wanted to teach elementary school art?

Even as a Senior in my last semester of college I’m still pondering these things and it’s scary. I have an idea of what I want to do in a perfect world, but I know this is not a perfect world and I don’t know if my dream job even exists. Then I went to hear Molly Curry speak and I was blown away. I’m not the only one who wants to do this, I’m not the only one who thinks truth and story telling is important! She told us her story, how she worked at the big PR agency that she was “supposed to” for 14 years until the day she found out she had cancer. Then she realized that she wasn’t happy and the work she was doing didn’t feel like it mattered. It gave me hope to realize that there were still people in the world who cared about making a difference and I wasn’t just some naive college student who thought that she mattered. She encouraged us to not wait until we got cancer or had some other kind of wake up call to do what we loved. She said sometimes you have to take care of yourself and trust that the people who love you will support you along the way.

Now it’s taken me a long time to get to this point. Up until this point basketball has ruled my life and I didn’t know how to get away from that. I love the sport and I don’t regret any minute of work that I have put into it, but it’s all I’ve known for the past 10 years or so (probably more). I’m excited to see what else i’m made of, to step out into the world and find my place. And now thanks to Molly I feel more confident in the kind of world I want to step into.