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What do I want to be when I grow up?

Updated on December 29, 2010

I wanna be a Princess!

As a young person I was asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” My response was usually the same “I don’t know”. From time to time I’d have an idea that maybe I’d like to be a Teacher or Nurse, I really wanted to be a Princess but I don’t think there was too many openings for that! If you weren’t born one then you’d have to marry one, since I lived in the United States we don’t have Royalty, so you could see my dilemma. It just wasn’t going to happen.


I'm not smart enough?

As I entered my Junior year in high school, my visits to the Counselors office increased with serious discussions of a career path being the topic. I felt like a fish out of water. I had never really given any serious thought to what I wanted to do. In 1978 there weren’t a whole lot of options open to me as a female. My little school didn’t offer many choices, if they did I wasn’t informed of it.

My Dad had told me “Computers are the way of the future”, learn all you can. My school did not offer anything in the way of computers, we didn’t even have any in the office. In my Senior year whenever there was a paper jam in the copy machine, they called one of us from the Secretarial class down to figure it out. We didn’t even have a copy machine in our class, but we managed to figure it out.

There were the standard careers - Secretary, Teacher, Counselor, Nurse etc. when I mentioned to her that I’d really like to be a Veterinarian she looked at me and said “You aren’t smart enough to be that“. Well heck, that blew my idea right out of the water. All I wanted from her was to point me in the right direction, not tell me I was stupid.

Don't tell me I'm stupid!

There are some people that you can tell that to and they will do what they can to prove you wrong, becoming a huge success. There are others who will sink into themselves and do nothing, failing at life. Then there are those who fit into my category, we spend our lives learning everything we can. Not one thing, but everything. Our minds are a sponge, absorbing everything possible, all because one person told us we weren’t smart enough.

When I tell people some of the jobs I have held I am either looked at with amazement or disbelief. Each one I had, being a learning experience for me. Out of all the jobs I have had I’ve discovered the one I liked most, was to some would seem the most menial. To get there I’ll have to back track a bit.


List of jobs... yep, it's long

In order of sequence, here are a list of the jobs I’ve had throughout my working life beginning at the ripe young age of 16.

Dairy Delight - An ice cream parlor making a whopping $1.75 an hour, I was allowed to keep my tips. I think I made a whole .16 cents during the entire summer working.

Bell Ringer - Emergency job in my senior year with the Salvation Army.

Herriman’s Dairy - I learned to like washing dishes at home (after 8 hours of washing a never ending steady stream of dishes you might be able to understand this)

Coney Island - I was only at this place 3 weeks as a line cook

K-Mart - Ladies Department (women can be SO gross in the changing room, they didn‘t even bother asking for toilet paper)

Black Hawk Securities - I was that aggravating person who called at dinner time asking you about a Burglar Alarm, which accidentally led me to my next job since I had a nice phone voice.

Sanders Mfg. - Secretarial duties along with answering the phone and typing. During this time I held 3 jobs K-mart, Black Hawk AND Sander’s, all part time.

Advance Shoe Factory - I learned that sewing machines in a factory go 100 times faster than a regular ‘at home’ machine. After ruining about 100 pairs of shoes they decided to take me off the sewing aspect of it.

Avon- I really stink at selling stuff.

K-Mart - Back again, this time as a cashier.

Then off to college to become a Nurse - That didn’t work out so well when I had to write a research paper on Nursing. I didn’t much care for everything a Nurse had to do. Taking Psychology was real eye-opener and I truly enjoyed that, taking much of what I learned into use within my own life.

I had a few years off from working after that, raising a couple of kids.

Since I was so good at the phone sales thing, I thought I’d try my hand at working for our local Cemetery, making those annoying phone calls. It went great listening to the funny answering machine messages and such. The day came when I made the phone call to a lady who was in the middle of a funeral dinner after just burying her husband. End of that job.

Tupperware- I really stink at selling stuff (Oops, I already said that)

Nursing Home - I was 23, come on!! The old man with his pants down around his ankles and shirt under his arm pits cured me of ever wanting to do this work again. Men - Take a tip from me, WEAR TIGHTER UNDIES!!! Remember Grandma’s boobies hanging to her knees? The same thing happens to men…only lower.

Gas station - 3rd shift, that was Ok, till I got a better offer to work at another gas station.

Diner- Waitress, that was fun I got to hang out with people, made fairly decent tips.

Publix- Grocery store, was fun working in the bakery. I learned a lot about the people in the Jewish community. Egg bread is Delicious!

K-mart - In another State (Florida) Infant Dept. really boring.

Home Depot - Cashier, great except for the hour bus ride there and back each day.

Adult Foster Care - This job is not for the faint of heart. Taking care of young men whose brains are not developed is challenging. I quickly learned to love them and still hold them close in my heart. Doug, Randy, Wes, Mark, Bill and Danny I will carry you with me the rest of my life. I know that God has a special place just for you.

Amway- Did I mention I stink at selling stuff?

Convenience store - 2nd shift. When my son called to ask me “Mom why isn’t the microwave working?” upon arriving home, discovering that an uncracked egg will blow the door off the microwave, that job went by the wayside.

Back at the same convenience store for 3rd shift Supervisor - I sold more pizzas than anyone ever did!

Factory- First Denso then Tokia Rika - My first night there I went into a panic, thinking that I would be spending the rest of my life putting those screws into those radiators. After getting hired in at Tokia Rika and working with those who felt their free time should be spent drinking I decided the factory life was not for me.

Burger King - This was great, it was fast paced and kept me busy, I was quickly promoted to Shift manager. Upon discovering that every manager was stealing, including the Store manager, I found another job.

Dollar General - This was supposed to be a temporary job, setting up a new store I ended up being Asst. Manager then becoming Manager of another new store in another city. It was a lot of responsibility but I was up for the challenge. When my mother broke her hip I left that job to help take care of her.

Night dispatcher/security guard - My husband worked for a trucking company and they were looking for someone to sit in the guard shack and log all the trucks in and out. Boring, but I did get in a lot of reading. That job ended 9/11/2001.

Convenience Store - Cashier. 2nd shift. My Dad got to see my paycheck for 1 week, he said “Is that all you made?” It really wasn’t worth my time for the pay, I was never going to get a raise, they didn’t believe in raises.

Melaluca- I should have known, I stink at selling stuff. But if nothing else I am persistent!

The Most fun job - legally

Strip Club - This was actually the best job/most fun I ever had and kept it the longest as well. I started out as a waitress moving up to bartender. The only thing that was required of me was to bring drinks to the customers. I was allowed to keep my clothes on! I got to see the best of people here, they were all on their best behavior, most trying to impress the girls. Occasionally some would come in to see me, much rather tipping the bartender. There was the occasional jerk who thought because it was a strip club it meant we were all hookers.

All of the girls were there to earn the money. There were a couple who were taking classes. Those that did leave for what they thought was a ‘better’ job always returned. Unless you were a Doctor or Lawyer the money here was better. There aren’t many places that can net you $1,000 a night for dancing, particularly in our neck of the woods. None of them paid taxes, so what they earned was theirs to keep. The only downside to this was looks, they only last for so long, after that you need some sort of talent.

Some of the girls had boyfriends who had a blast spending their money, these girls didn’t see that. Until it was too late. They’d come in empty handed, car gone, clothes gone, money gone, needing to work. Someone would loan them an outfit or two for the night, until they made enough money to buy their own. Usually 1 turn on the stage or a private dance was enough to do that.

For some women this was a career, for some it was just a stepping stone to a better life. Some thought of it as a last resort, until the money started rolling in. Then they’d take it seriously. Some of the women had been doing this for over 20 years.


The last few years

School Bus Driver - For this I had to get a special license, a Class B CDL. This was a great job, until I got shot at.

Insurance Sales person - This job paid fairly well and I did get to meet a lot of people. I kept this job until I got my next job.

Grandma- This job is hard, but fulfilling. I get to spend time with my Grand children while their Mother’s work. At times it’s frustrating because my time is not always my own. Just going to the store can be a major under taking. This job allows me the freedom to do what I love.

Writing - This has become a full time job for me, all the other things I have done in life have prepared me for what I am doing now.

There were a few other jobs that weren't mentioned, but not really important to this Hub.

You can Be a Rodeo Clown if.. you sleep at a Holiday Inn Express!!

What is your Career Path?

So you may be asking yourself - “What should I do with my life?” “What is my career path?” Only you can answer that, not a counselor nor a writer. You could set yourself on a path and never veer from course or you can take the path less chosen. Whatever you do, make sure that above all you are enjoying what it is that you do. Life is too short to be miserable in a career that you have chosen.

The world will always need Ditch diggers, I have been a ditch digger (not in a literal sense of course), doing the menial jobs that don’t pay a lot. Some I have enjoyed, some not. Those that I didn’t enjoy, I left quickly. I have found that I can do anything I set my mind to. I haven’t even tried getting a job as a Rodeo Clown but maybe if I sleep at a Holiday Inn Express…..


Grandma Moses
Grandma Moses | Source
So If I get this, what would I do with it?
So If I get this, what would I do with it?

Live without Regrets

What will I be when I grow up? I’m not sure at this point. I may end up being the next ‘Grandma Moses’, taking up painting in my aging years. Who knows? Maybe I’ll become a great Author and receive the Nobel Peace Prize for writing something life altering.

Am I success? Absolutely! Why? Because I have no regrets. There is no job that I have done that has caused me regret for not staying, even though I left each one for various reasons, each reason was valid at the time. If you live your life regretting, then you are not really living, you are regretting not living.


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    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      I love the grandma part or in my case 'Memaw'.. (not sure why I picked that) I think in order to be a good writer, one has to live a little life!! LOL

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • craftdrawer profile image

      craftdrawer 7 years ago

      Wonderful article ! I can relate to what you have been through. I am also a grandma and a writer and these have been my favorite jobs so far!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Betty! Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks you so much for the Blessing for 2011!! From your lips to God's ears!! I wish the same for you!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • bettybarnesb profile image

      bettybarnesb 7 years ago from Bartlett, TN

      Hey Sweetsusieg: Such a sweet hub. It is also a very true life story. You are indeed a blessing. Wishing you and your family health, prosperity and peace for 2011!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      Funny how life works isn't it? We just keep on keepin' on! It's those never 'give up' attitudes that keeps the work force moving.

      Thanks for stopping by and I'm glad that you enjoyed it!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      sweetsusieg, I also tried Amway and Avon. I also tried retail, food and beverage management, customer service, teaching and so many other things I can't list them all. I think it's you need to try a few different ones to find out where you belong. Great hub.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      krantcents - AWESOME!! 7th and 8 combined, I Love it!! See that is the stuff life is made of! Changes, chances, corrections until you get it right. I'm sure there is a little fear each time but that's the excitement too. If you're doing what you love, I don't think of it as work (unless I'm describing what I do) it's just living!

      onegoodwoman - I wear my words on my sleeve, there are no secrets when it comes to me, I put my life out there for others to examine, look over and possibly laugh at.. That way when I get famous and the tabloids try to find my story - nothing to hide, it's all out there.

      Thank you both for stopping by!! Happy New Year!

    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 7 years ago from A small southern town

      I liked this!

      your cup runs over with raw honesty......that's just cool beans~~

    • krantcents profile image

      krantcents 7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I am working on my seventh career and I love it. I am a Business & Computer teacher. I started a blog 4 month ago so I guess I simultaneously am in my eighth career. I have never been happier working 18 hours a day, I must be crazy! If you do what you love, you will be happy and successful.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Dusty! So tell me, were they disappointed in you? And if so, did they tell you so? This could have affected the way you seen yourself. I know the feeling of things falling apart, it happens to us all, I think.

      For those who have had their nose to the grindstone with someone pushing the head down and someone else cracking the whip (metaphorically speaking of course) it has to be much harder! For those of us who weren't expected to do anything, what we do accomplish can be a joyful surprise!

      I am sure that once you relax and begin to accept yourself for who you are, you will begin to feel successful at whatever you do!

      Best of Success to you! Thanks for stopping by and Commenting!

    • Dusty Snoke profile image

      Dusty Snoke 7 years ago from Chattanooga, TN

      great writing as always. My life was just the opposite. Everyone always expected so much from me and somehow I let it all slip by me. My parents had such big plans for me. As a teen I was an overachiever and excelled at everything. Once I hit adulthood everything I touched fell apart no matter how hard I tried. But I keep on trying.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      Isn't that something? I could never imagine telling a child/teen that they aren't smart enough to do something!! Maybe they did us favors? Sent us into a spin of learning.

      I think with determination and gumption on our parts we all could do anything we set out minds to! Even now Dave, at 63 if it is your desire... Go back to school help those who are in need of your help! Unless we have both feet in the grave and the dirt half way up to our knees.... it's never too late!!

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      LOL, I could see me practicing to eat!! I'd have to do that too!! As it is I walk around with my plate/bowl shoveling it in as fast as I can because I never know when I'll get to finish it... Or better yet, sit here at my computer hoping I don't spill on the keyboard!

      Gravity is not kind!!

      Thanks for the laugh, I needed it!!

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Sweetsusieg: Thank you my dear for this hub. It serves as a reminder for all.

      I remember being told by my highschool guidance counsellor as well as my parents,during grade 12, that I was not smart enough to become a lawyer. Well maybe they were right and maybe not for I became a very tough but fair Union Contract Negotiator who helped to write some pretty impressive contracts for the Canadian Postal Union Workers. I also found myself involved in the creation and writing of the first Ontario Landlord and Tenant Act, which spelled out the rights of apartment tenants who had little or no protection from landlords. So even if I didn't become a lawyer, I still put my passion for people's rights to work for others. Maybe that is what God had in mind all along for me.

      If there is anyone out there who could use a 63 year old hard nosed, hard working man, I'm available if the price is right.

      Brother Dave.

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 7 years ago from Sweden

      Wow, I love this hub! It was a so enjoyable reading! And the points from the nursing home about the earths gravity; I know what you mean, I have been there to, starting when I was 18! I am sure it must have caused me some damage:)) But after that I moved on to work at a gynecological emergency department! With that awesome career ot yours I am confident that you will end up with the Nobel Price! What you shall do with it? As a start you will be at the Nobel Banquet in a beautiful dress! And there you will be able to learn how to eat very slowly! When I see the Nobel Banguet at Tv I see how they eat one tiny bit every 5 minutes, then they put the cutlery down and make converation. They eat for several hours but hardly eat anything anyway! No, joking aside, your interesting and diversed life shows that you have so much to wright about! Thank you for this enjoyable reed!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      Oh Merlin!! I had to read this to my daughters, they wanted to know what I was laughing about, my youngest said "Well at least he got to look at the back of heads!!, I had a brick wall to look at!" It seem we all have had our issues in school.

      I have begun to think that school is some barbaric torture that a genius who got too many wedgies on the farm thought up! He was probably teased mercilessly by the farm boys and decided to come up with school so everyone could get picked on.

      If you can call 'You're too stupid to do that, think of something else' counseling... I guess I had more than you... It is still in the back of my mind they held it against me because my brother blew up the toilets... Not my fault..I was still in jr high..

      We stupid - but saveables, need to all get to together and have a party!! Now that we're all old enough, grown up and feel a semblance of success, in the process we have had our confidence restored. We'd have a great time!!

      Thanks for stopping by and giving me a good laugh!!

    • Merlin Fraser profile image

      Merlin Fraser 7 years ago from Cotswold Hills

      A famous Scottish comedian, Billy Connally, summed up my early school life, four rows of pupils, cleanest and smartest at the front, not so smart second row. Bit scruffy, stupid but saveable (Me) in the third row with the school gorillas sitting at the back doing things to themselves !

      Like you right up to the end of school no idea what if anything I wanted to be, unlike you no counselling on the subject, unless you class being given one afternoon off and being sent to the library to look for inspiration. If memory serves we went to the cinema...

      I had a hell of a list of what I didn’t want to be, being as we were deep in the rural countryside this included anything that smelled of horse, sheep, pig or cow shit. So I joined the Navy, about as far away from farms and farming as you can get, of course one should always check the small print like what happens if you become a chronic sufferer of seasickness.

      But considering the fact that I drifted through life I consider myself lucky and had a lot of fun along the way. Been round the world a couple of times and thanks to the Oil industry visited many countries and met the people.

      Now I write books and Hubs, still learning new things, meeting new and interesting people and having fun.

      Not bad for “Stupid but Saveable !”

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      Velvet53 - I can't complain, I've done what I've wanted when I wanted and am Happy with myself.

      onceuponatime66 - I guess I am ambitious, I have done an awful lot in a short amount of time.

      Thank you both for stopping by!

    • onceuponatime66 profile image

      Jackie Paulson 7 years ago from USA IL

      Great job you are so ambitious.

    • profile image

      Velvet53 7 years ago

      It sounds like you did quite well for yourself.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      Fuzzy slippers, fuzzy socks, jammies, robe (fuzzy) and a handmade cowl. The bearings in my combustion blower are going out, the new one won't be here until tomorrow... brrrr

      Hmmm, Job Counselor... sounds interesting... I can see me now... "No, you wouldn't like this job - too many dishes will ruin that lovely manicure you've worked hours on" or "Yes, this job is PERFECT for you!! Except for the occasional impaction"... LOL

      I never actually got to see a soda counter, but I did see them on TV. I was taught how to make Boston Coolers and such at our Ice cream parlor. I learned that cheese slices dipped in ketchup followed by a pickle slice makes a good snack! I was told to try a sundae made with vanilla ice cream topped with butterscotch on one side and Strawberries on the other.... Not to bad..

      I'm glad you liked this! Thanks for stopping by!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      So, susie, how are you dressed? Just askin.

      If you ever want to look for another job, consider that of a Job Counselor because you know so many jobs first-hand - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

      We have something in common. My first job while I was in high school was working at the soda counter (remember those) at the local drugstore. They lost money on me - I piled up the hot fudge on all the ice cream sundaes ordered by my friends.

      Thanks for this funny and interesting read.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Lilly!! These past few weeks are going to make for an interesting Hub once I can turn the tears into smiles!! I need to be able to see the funny side of things to make a good Hub... just waiting for something to tickle my funny bone about it all.. Maybe it's the way I'm dressed... If you could only see!!

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 7 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      Dear Sweetsusieg, LOVE this Hub. I don't want to grow up too much, and yes your interesting life, heartbreak and victory is material. Write On!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      LOL, Yep!! At least we have fodder for our passion!

    • Bel Marshall profile image

      Bel Marshall 7 years ago from Michigan


      This is wonderful. LOL I went the Amway and Avon route as well...did about as well as you did!

      At the end of the day, I think what we all want to do is just WRITE!