Follow the Script | Daily Prompt: Ballerina Fireman Astronaut Movie Star

When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up? What are you? Are the two connected?

I wanted to be a neurosurgeon. And I also wanted to follow the script.

Years before I turned 10 years old, I was part of a special feature at church. Pre-schoolers were the star of that little show. And each one of us was asked to memorize a few lines. If you were a parent whose kid could recite lines without being fed them, you know yours would get picked.

As one of those kids, I remember the excitement and the nervousness. And—of course—the cuteness! Or that is what my mother says.

So, yes, the program went without a hitch. At least, that is what my memory tells me.

Possibly, I took my lines too far. Because, ever since that short stint on the pulpit, whenever I was asked what I wanted to be when I grow up, I always said the same thing: I want to be neurosurgeon. (Technically, the script said missionary doctor but my costume—all-white top and shorts with the caduceus and the title “neurosurgeon” embroidered onto it—said something else, something more specific, something more ambitious.) And, upon answering, I was always greeted with such awe. So I’ve always been impressed that I gave not just the right response but such an awesome answer.

But how many ten-year olds of the 90s knew exactly what a neurosurgeon was?

Maybe it was some time during high school when I changed my answer. I never received the awe that I was used to. And their response to me was something I had to get used to.

Not all of us realize that the answers we’ve been giving weren’t ours, even from the start, no matter how many times we’re asked, no matter how many times we repeat it, no matter if we got the right script, no matter how great the program. Sooner or later, you will say something else. You will tell them the real answer.

That is when you write your own script.


9 Comments Add yours

  1. alienorajt says:

    A lovely piece of writing; I have enjoyed reading it. Alienora


    1. Mati Serrano says:

      Thank you so much.


  2. Ms. Roberts says:

    I wanted to be to so many things when I was a kid! Who I am now never came to my young mind then.


    1. Mati Serrano says:

      Same here.
      Then again, I was not that aware of the other options that I had/have.


  3. It happens so much when he children inherit the family business, right?! My grandmother was quite upset when I chose my carreer, she had hoped, but never said anything that I’d go into business administration and inherit the family travel agency, never the less I went all the way to the opposite end of the spectrum and went with architecture, she slowly accepted it when she realized that had been my grandfather’s passion… I am glad I wrote my own script as you so well say Mati! Read you soon, Alexandra


    1. Mati Serrano says:

      Thanks so much!
      I’m glad your family accepted your decision. And wow! This is the first time I’ve across someone who’s a female architect. My architect friends are all male.
      I hope the same happens to some of my friends’ families.


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