In high school I had a guidance councilor ask me what I thought I would be when I grew up. Not “what do you want to be” but “what do you think you will be,” much different questions for a kid, and much more accurate window into the future.
I thought about it for a minute. What do I think I will be? I thought about the way I normally answer the question when it’s phrased the other way, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I wanted to help sick animals. But when I was asked where I thought I’d end up, it made me realize that I didn’t even believe that I’d end up as a vet.
I paused for a minute and said I thought I’d have a job that wasn’t invented yet, “You know, something that isn’t included in those check boxes in those forms,” was my response. Non-comital, vague, but for the first time, I actually believed my response. He wasn’t so sure. He leaned back in his old wheeled desk chair and looked at me like I was a genuine crazy person.
“Hasn’t been invented? There are jobs that haven’t been invented? Like a robot mechanic?”
Now I got to look at him like he was the genuine crazy person, “I’m pretty sure that robot mechanic exists. And I think the world is changing enough that there are jobs that aren’t invented yet.” He quickly dismissed me, apparently I had reached the maximum level of guidance that he had for the day.
I thought about this today, as I was being filmed for a feature-length documentary about the craft beer industry. Among other titles that I hold, I’m a food blogger. A job that had not been invented was I was a freshman in high school. A job that I couldn’t be happier to do. After years of forcing myself into the check boxes on the high school guidance counselors forms, there is an absolute freedom in breaking away from that. A freedom in inventing my own job, and working tirelessly to make it happen.
It took me too many years to chase this dream, and the change happened years after I left that cluttered office in the last semester of my first year of high school.
The change happened when I stopped asking, “Who am I to want a job like that?” and starting asking, “Why not me?”
I’m a big fan of this cast iron skillet, it’s amazing and I use it several times a week (affiliate link).