What do you want to be when you grow up?
This was a question you got asked as a young child. As you grew up, this changed to "What do you want to do when you leave school?" It went from being a dream to oh crap I need to think about the rest of my adult working life. This as a teenager can be a daunting thought. Some kids always knew they wanted to be doctors, teachers or maybe even join the circus. I myself didn't dream too much about it when I was really young but looking back I realised that the signs were there.
You see, when I was in high school I started giving it some thought. I realised I loved art, painting, sewing etc. As a young girl I had always loved drawing dresses and making clothes for my barbie dolls.
So when it came around to doing work experience in grade 10 and we had to list 3 jobs we were interested in pursuing, I decided to test the career teacher. I listed the following three jobs:
1. Music producer
2. Work at a cool magazine
3. Fashion Designer
A couple of weeks later we found out where we were working, I was expecting a job somewhere close to home and it would involve pouring coffee. Nope, I was off to work at The Australian Ballet in the wardrobe dept for 2 weeks. Oh shit, now I have to show I'm serious!
So off I set on the train, eventually made it to Flemington after turning up at the Melb Arts Centre. My first task for the day was to iron 100 pirate shirts. JOY!! Needless to say, by the end of the first day I was over ironing and also second guessing this "experience".
For the rest of the 2 weeks, I spent it working side by side with the amazing headdress team where I not only helped them but also made a headdress that would be used in one of the productions. I also watched a "fabulous" man make a 3 piece suit from scratch. I was totally inspired!
I then spent the next year making clothes all by hand. In grade 11 I even helped a classmate make her deb dress. (Mine was bought, as I ran out of time!) I used to love wandering around fabric stores, just feeling the fabrics and dreaming what could be made from then.
The following year when work experience came around again, I knew I wanted something creative again. The problem was, we had to find our own workplace. Somehow I decided to give floristry a try. I worked for 2 weeks with a local business, they were busy enough to have lots of work but not so busy that they didn't take the time to show me things. I really enjoyed it. I loved working with my hands and being creative. So when the opportunity came to start actually working full time for them at the end of year 11, I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately it didn't work out, as they were florists who enjoyed other types of green plants at lunchtime. So my floristry career was short lived.
I was never able to get another position with a florist, so I had to take a new direction. Let's see a girl who loves clothes what can she do? I know, RETAIL!!! As a 17 yo it seems like fun, as an adult it is just a job that pays the bills.
Fast forward 20 something years and I'm now asking myself.....what do I want to do for the rest of my life? Hmmmm, I wonder whether that careers teacher is still around?