Monday, July 1, 2013

What was your path?

Random thoughts have been swirling around my head lately. Lots going on in my life - not to me, but more around me. That tends to unsettle me. It makes me more prone to flights of fancy and less inclined to document them.

One of the more interesting (to me) thought tracks had to do with jobs, kids and family expectations.

Recently I ran across the LinkedIn profile of a kid I used to know. He's an adult now, of course. I worked with his mother for about 9 years. For 3 years he stopped by my office 4 days a week and chatted with me about his life while I worked. (Yes, his mother was my boss.) He wanted to be an engineer and build things or maybe a lawyer like his dad through age 13, when I switched jobs.

His mother started her own business. In doing so, she lost the corporate tech support she had relied upon. So, at 16, he began to help his mother with her computer connections and hook-ups. Now, after college, he's an IT guy. So, did he find his own path or did he become what she needed to support her dream?

Once that thought occurred to me, I thought about Naomi Judd. Wynonna Judd was always a great singer; but she is not an outgoing person. Would she have been who she is if her mother had not wanted to be a star? (I've read ALL the Judds' autobiographies, and so feel qualified to comment without judgement.)

At a business meeting last week I met a guy who majored in Marketing and Business Management in order to learn to manage his father's medical practice. Perhaps one day, he'll move to another practice. But I have to wonder if managing a medical practice was ever his dream or merely what was needed of him?

Take-away - Which pieces of who you are were someone else's choice? Maybe now is the time to make your own choice. Remember, the only expectations you need to meet are your own.