Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Kids want to be the darndest things...

Last night I was watching PBS's NOVA, which was focusing on past NASA disasters. This morning I woke up to the news that the space shuttle Atlantis was damaged shortly after Monday's take-off, and today the astronauts are embarking on a very risky mission to repair four shuttle tiles that help regulate the shuttle's sky-rocketing temperature during re-entry. The original - and main - mission of Atlantis is to do the final repair on the Hubble Space Telescope, before the Hubble floats off into oblivion and eventually, sometime in the next decade, runs out of steam and falls into our oceans.

During yesterday's program I kept telling Matt that I had no idea who would want to be an astronaut considering the risks. In 2003 Challenger exploded shortly after launch when a piece of foam - FOAM - hit the spacecraft's wing during take-off. He began rattling off dozens of occupations that are more dangerous, all of which I am also frightened by.

"Something the size of a pea can damage the aircraft," Dr. Jeff Hoffman, a former NASA astronaut, told GMA's Diane Sawyer this morning. Eek!

So all of this got me thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up. (Obviously astronaut was not one of them.) Now that I've grown up, I work in corporate campus recruiting, which I essentially fell into and enjoy, for the most part. I'm not one of those people who has a "passion". Take Matt for example - he knew since being a young teenager he wanted to be a programmer. When I was that age I wanted to be a FBI agent (I think Scully from
The X Files is to blame for this). Earlier, I wanted to be a doctor (blame doctor John Carter from ER for that one). Anyway, as you can see, I was very much influenced by primetime TV.

I once had a passion - I wanted to be a journalist and wrote feverishly about it in my application essay to NYU. I enrolled in their journalism program, and during the first two years saw that half these budding muckrakers had more chutzpah and anything-to-get-ahead passion than I did, and being that journalism is competitive, I decided to let them have it. I would concentrate on something else - to this day, I'm not entirely sure what, however.

I can say this: since being sick - and realizing how delicate our health can be - I just want to be healthy and happy. I want to be a supportive and loving wife, someday a dedicated mother, and a responsible and informed citizen of our world. I suppose sometimes the simplest things are the most rewarding.

So, dear readers, what did you dream about being in your idyllic youth? An astronaut? A bureau chief abroad? Throw a blogger a bone, and please do share!


  1. I had originally wanted to be a bunny rabbit when I grew up. Somewhere along the way I must have decided to be human, because here I am - opposable thumbs and all.

  2. I wanted to be a dolphin trainer at Sea World and a famous author/writer. Later I still wanted to be a writer but I also wanted to be a motivational speaker about Crohn's then eventually I wanted to be an evangelist to teach people about God. In all reality though I am actually just a secretary who blogs. BOORRRRRIINNG!! The best laid plans and all that....

  3. Matt, you make me laugh!

    I wanted to be a lawyer at one point. I am INCREDIBLY legalistic- just ask my mom! I realized, however, that being a lawyer involves public speaking, which I am pretty much deathly afraid of, and years and years of college, which I am also deathly afraid of! So that kinda ruled that out. So I settled for my second choice, which was to be a wife and Mommy (or as my son says, Mama). That has turned out pretty well for me!

  4. I wanted to be a paleontologist or archaeologist thanks to Jurassic Park. Ahhh Sam Neil looks like my Dad!

    I still kind of would like to do that.

    The thing I liked second-most was programming so now I'm a web developer.

  5. I have lots of things I love, which I get to do--but also have to have something that pays the bills, which can be tricky. I wanted to be an artist when I was a kid. I do like the problem solving and creativity I get to do in programming.

  6. When I was very small...Supergirl/detective.
    After I started considering it seriously I realised I have a passion for marketing which has since developed into Online marketing :)

    I just have to say, I recently came accross your blog while looking for motivation to blog again. I also have Crohn's and have recently realised I 'fear' opening up on my blog and therefore am ignoring my blog at the moment.

    Which brings me to the reason why I'm telling you this: I think you have an amazing writing talent. Your blog is the only one I've found that I read from A-Z and even chuckle or shed a tear along the way. It doesn't leave me feeling empty or depressed but actually inspires me. Perhaps you should consider making writing more of a career ;)

  7. I wanted to be a paleontologist, too! I had acquired quite a nifty fossil fern collection from traipsing around the culm banks near Mahanoy City, and even looked into the major offered at U of Pennsylvania. But alas, I settled for biology at Penn State, more practical, and I married my lab partner! Mom

  8. Thanks for commenting, everyone!!!

    We are a dreamy and inspired bunch.

    Regarding paleontology: I see how one can romanticize it and such (I get a bit enamored after watching the Discovery channel, even), but when you think about it, it's just years and years of digging dirt. I admire the patience so many scientists possess. I would be bored to tears! But maybe if I got to name an extinct species after myself, I would persevere. It's all ego.

    Thank you so very much for your kind words!! It really means a lot to me - I started doing this in January when I was just so fed up and in pain - I find it therapeutic, and have gotten so much support from family and friends. As you can see, not all entries are Crohn's related, but all Crohn's and no play makes Jane (er, Kathryn) a dull girl.

    Isn't Crohn's the worst? I figure us girls might as well shed some light on the disease - no one else will! (It's just not one of those "trendy / sexy" diseases, you know? Not that ANY are.)

    When you start writing again, I would love to read your blog!! Thank you again (and I'm glad you enjoy the writing - you really know how to appeal to a girl's vanity!) ;-)

  9. I would love to see Alicia's fossil fern collection!