My father and his two sisters. This must have been in the second half of the 1930s. My father and one of his sisters are both wearing cowboy gear and are sitting on the dreaded packing house pony my grandfather kept, which had a reputation for being a mean pony.
For a long time, I've marveled on how people, particularly men, take on an occupational identify. In spite of all the fluff about not becoming your career, at least depending upon the career, people very clearly do over time. In noting that, I've often wondered who these adults were as children.
I've noted here before as Holscher's First Law of Behavior that "everyone's basic personality is set by the time they're about five years old." And I think that's true. But it can't be denied that, at least with some occupations and professions, maybe most, we are altered by them and become them to some degree. That doesn't mean that other person is fully suppressed, however
Anyhow, I'll look out at adults and often marvel at the variety of occupations. And how people, in particular men, become their occupations, as noted. But when they were little kids, what were their dreams.
With some occupations, I know that these adults didn't wish to do these things as children, unless they're truly an exception to the rule. Whenever I hear "I always wanted to be a lawyer", for example, I think "bull, no you didn't".
What kind of a kid things being a lawyer is a fun thing to do? For that matter, adults who aren't lawyers would be surprised to see how vastly our occupation departs from the public portrayal of it. Is there any little kid who really wants to be an accountant? Who wants to work in a convenience store when they're small. . . or at all?
Some occupations, I grant, are truly different. Firemen (which one of my uncles was), cowboys, soldiers, etc., I think are occupations which many really wish to do, and which when people grow up some become.
So, here follows a question.
When you were a little kid. . . say twelve years of age and younger (not when you were a teenager), what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you become that?
Okay, mister annoying blogger, what about you?
No, I didn't want to be a lawyer when I was ten. Or twelve. Or, and we're not to those ages yet, even when I was sixteen. That thought never occurred to me.
Looking back what I wanted to be was outdoors and things that seemed to be associated with the outdoors heavily appealed to me early on. One of those things was being a soldier, as they were outdoors.
That's something I've actually done. I was a National Guardsmen for six years. Indeed, one of my real regrets is not staying in the National Guard. So, I did partially become what I thought was a neat thing to do when I was a young boy, although I obviously didn't take it up as a career. Did it meet my expectations? Well, as those expectations had evolved by the time I took it up, it pretty much did.