What Do You Want to be When You Grow up?

Handmade Papers – words by Agatha Christie

I worked on this piece while I was teaching a class. I utilized it during several demonstrations to the group then brought it home to frame. I am a HUGE Agatha Christie fan so this quote has multiple pulls on my heart.

We have all pondered that ever dreaded question, what do you want to be when you grow up? We think about it early in life, we think about it with every major life change – graduation, marriage, children, death, moving, even retiring. We sometimes wonder as we grow older what we want to do with our time and energy. All of us wonder, plan, make choices, and live our lives hoping that we chose the right direction as a response to this question.

Agatha Christie did not start writing her famous mystery novels until she was middle aged. I love how she called it the second bloom. When we think about what we want to do when we grow up, it assumes there is only one path. Agatha Christie embraced her later years and had the courage to pursue new adventures. She reminds us that we are never too old to change, grow and do something very different than we have ever done before. It just means we have to change the images in our heads of what we thought life would be and have the courage and gumption to invent new ones.

As an executive coach I hear people struggling with this question at all stages of life. I remind them that life is a journey, not a destination and that one life may have many chapters. How boring would the book of life be if we were all stuck with the life choices we made at eighteen? I thought I wanted to be an Accountant at eighteen, what did I know? I’m glad I was smart enough To change that path rather quickly.

Three cheers for women like Agatha Christie who embraced their thoughts and became something different. It takes guts to embrace a whole new life. When life opens a door, no matter when or where, have the courage to say yes, move forward and change your world.

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