Jonathan Chandler Webb
Learning to Live

Recently, my 5-year old son began talking about what he wanted to be when he grew up. It is the usual from a boy that age: fireman, police officer, astronaut. One day while discussing his plans to be a police officer as well as a tennis player, he turned to me and said, “Dad, what do you want to be when you grow up?” I’m 36 years old, how do I answer that question?

I gave a funny answer and laughed about it and continued to listen to him talk about his dreams and plans as only a 5-year old can do. However, that question struck a nerve in me that has lingered even now, weeks after he asked it. What do I want to be when I grow up?

Many of us are traveling through life simply reacting to the daily routine. We wake up, go to work, eat, spend time with family, sleep, and do it all over again the next day. Sure there are some great moments and many of us have a job we love, but are we truly living? We get caught up in ‘being a grown up’ when we’d much rather be doing something else with our lives.

I have been unemployed, have worked jobs just to pay the bills, and failed miserably at an attempt to enter a career field I desperately wanted to pursue. All of those moments have helped shape and mold me into the man I am today and moved me down the road toward the answer to my son’s question. It is a question I have been afraid to answer for fear of where it could lead. Ever have one of those moments? You know, a moment where you know what the answer is but are afraid to say it because it may sound ridiculous to those around you? May even sound ridiculous to yourself?

So, what do you want to be when you grow up? Is it too late? I used to believe that after 30 you needed to be in your career of choice or you would never make it. I am sure you know how wrong that is but that doesn’t stop us from believing it from time to time. In fact, I sometimes think about dreams I have and plans with the phrase, ‘it would be great to be ____ or have ____ by the time I am 40.’ Well, that is 4 long years away. But, instead of looking at the amount of time left to accomplish those goals and dreams I think, ‘that can’t happen by then, there is not enough time.’

Have you ever been where I am? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section. I’ll continue my story in the coming posts and hopefully encourage you as I travel down this road.