When I was little, people would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up. A bird. Everytime I was asked, I said I wanted to be a bird. I was convinced if I worked hard enough, I would sprout wings and fly over the trees to make a nest for my family and me.
That didn't happen. I work in a call center right now. That doesn't mean that the desire has gone away. One of my favorite things in the world is to fly, and I do it every chance I get. Which isn't terribly often.
As I started understanding more about biology and the way the human body develops, I realized that wings were not on the table for me. I watched a movie, I believe it was called "Fly Away Home", where a girl took a gaggle of geese and taught them how to fly. She had to migrate with them, so her dad built her a small aircraft so she could fly with her children to a warmer climate. At that moment I realized that if I were to fly with birds, I would be required to have a machine to do the flying for me. I was a little disappointed.
Since then, I haven't really figured out what I want to do with my life. Dana and I have dreams of living overseas and working in community development, or investing in a certain community to love the people there, but what does that look like? I guess we'll figure that out when we get there. Wherever "there" is.
Sometimes I think it's awful to ask a kid what he or she wants to do with his or her life at a young age. It takes a bit of the fun out of being a kid. What do you want to do when you grow up? I don't know. I don't even know what I want for dinner. I don't even know what toy I want to play with next. Leave me alone and let me be a kid!
Kids are really good at living in the moment and as adults, we lose sight of that. We're always looking at what we're going to do, rather than what we are doing. We should encourage living in the moment. If they want to become a bird, then we should ask what type of bird rather than shooting them down.
That doesn't mean we get to avoid planning and being responsible with our time and resources. We do need to be conscious of staying in the present at the same time.
Today at lunch, I was observing birds. They were swimming around in the Mississippi, then they got out and cleaned themselves. They then propped themselves up on one foot and took a nap. How is this a bad thing? I was very tempted to follow suit until I looked at the murky river and decided I would rather not contract a vile disease.
I still want to be a bird, though. That desire will probably never leave. I can't decide if I would be a bird of prey with the mountains as my home, or a sparrow that can dart in and out of tiny spaces in a blink of an eye. I'll get back to you on that.