What do you want to be when you grow up? An eighteen-year-old's perspective.

(I have been nudging my eighteen-year-old daughter, Grady Jane Woodfin, to enter the blogging fray for quite a while now. Here’s why. Stephen Woodfin.)

 What do you want to be?

I’m always thoroughly impressed when someone tells me what they want to be, and they know that without a doubt that is going to keep them happy for as long as they live.  I’ve never been able to do that.

I change what I want to do with my life at least once a week.

In the past few months, I’ve pondered being an Astronomer and dedicating my life to exploring the last frontier we have left.  I thought about writing books, but I figured I could write books on the side of any career and be just as unappreciated as the next author.  I wanted to be a musician, but then again what teenager doesn’t want to be that?  I wanted to work for the United Nations and help reduce the lack of access to primary education.  There was also a brief commitment to zombie slaying, but I decided to save that for when the actual apocalypse is upon us. I flirted with the idea of being President of the United States of America… Actually, I will be president one day, but that’s much further along in my life.

Up until yesterday, I was set on getting a double major in Music and Film making.  I would then write beautiful music for movies on the big screen.

But yesterday I was sitting with my parents at lunch while an old couple sat nearby.  When the couple got up to leave, my father joked with them lightheartedly which they enjoyed.  The lady laughed and admitted it was her eighty-second birthday.  She also mentioned that she had Alzheimer’s.  She said that she could physically do anything a 40 year old could do, but her mind was just giving out on her.

As the couple left the restaurant, I was reminded of all of the good people I had known who had lost their minds to Alzheimer’s and how furious it made me.  Thus, my future plans changed again.  Now I am dedicated to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s.

What blows my mind the most is that so many people are satisfied with what they do, when most of us never do something to be truly proud of.  Teenagers are so absorbed in being cool and in love, that they lose sight that the whole world is sitting right in front of them, just waiting for them to change it.  And then as people grow up, they give up on their dreams and they settle with not doing what they really wanted to contribute to the world.

I don’t want to live a life of regrets.  I don’t want to find myself 70 years down the road and have nothing to show for it.

I want to change the world, and I want to inspire others to change the world.  I want to start a revolution where people are inspired enough to actually follow and achieve their life-long dreams.

I want to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, discover a new planet, and make beautiful music that brings people to tears.  I want to be the first female president of the United States.  I want to stop any kind of discrimination.  I want to create a world of peace.  I want to be and do all these things before I die.

It’s never too early or too late to follow your dreams.

So, I’ll leave you with this… What do you want to be when you grow up?

Grady Jane Woodfin


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