When I was a kid, I always wanted to be an Egyptologist. I had an (arguably unhealthy) obsession with everything Egypt—including the ancient deities, flora and fauna, political history, and languages—that has more or less carried through to the present day.
I took archaeology and anthropology courses in while enrolled in university to learn what I could about the processes of not just uncovering artifacts, but understanding what they meant once found. My uncle would bring me papyrus paintings, other artworks, coins, books, and more from his work trips to the country. I was determined to become a scholar, a protector of the culture I loved, and devote my energy to traveling the world to find new and exciting adventures.
I had a full-on case of wanderlust, but somewhere along the way my path changed.
It’s difficult to pinpoint only one reason why it did, but instead of following through on the science courses I needed for my archaeology dream, I resorted to the more comfortable and less challenging (for me) courses to earn an English degree. Don’t get me wrong, I love English Writing & Rhetoric and fully acknowledge that it is a valuable skill set especially in this day and age, but the point is that it was never my dream to be a teacher or an editor or—as I have turned out to be—a graphic designer.
I love what I do, but it surprises me how drastically the childhood imaginings of what my grownup years would hold differ from who I have become. It’s almost as if I have gone in the exact opposite direction: I’m a suburban mom of one little boy and one little girl with a comfortable desk job and a hardworking husband. My biggest adventures now consist of trips to the nearest aquarium or the large park that is outside of our neighborhood.
I am a total cliché.
Again, don’t get me wrong, my life is wonderful and I’m very happy, but I turned out vastly different now that I have lived a while.
I still enjoy learning about Egypt, my bucket list still holds Hieroglyphics and Arabic as languages-to-be-learned (along with Portuguese because it’s just pretty), and it would be a dream come true to actually visit Cairo someday, but I’m no Egyptologist.
So many people know a similar story: your dreams to be an astronaut or a Nobel Peace Prize winner, a world-famous photographer or the president somehow turn into boardrooms or PTA meetings, desk jobs or self-employment taxes.
And that’s ok, too. Everything you’re doing makes a difference.
Where you are may not be as glamorous or as exciting as what you hoped it would be, but that doesn’t make it any less important. There’s something to be said for forging your own path, even if it changed directions a few times along the way. Where you are is the result of everywhere you have been, everything you have done or not done, and everyone you have encountered.
You have surely changed directions at least once in your life, as I have several times, and there’s nothing stopping you from making another change if it’s what you want to do. Just be sure you stay true to who you are no matter which way you decide to go.
And maybe send me pictures of Cairo if your path takes you there.