I'm always amused when I hear a young person tell me what they're planning to be when they grow up. For many reasons. First, I'm 45 years old and I'm not grown up. Not nearly. So when, exactly, were they thinking they would be grown up? It will be years until they learn that inside, nothing really changes much after age twenty-eight or thirty. You'll feel the same the rest of your life. The day that changes is the day you start dying.
Second, John Lennon's saying, "Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans," is one of the great truisms of the Universe. In my life, I've planned on being a veterinarian, a police officer, a rabbi, a city manager, a university professor, a retail management giant, a small business mogul--and here I am, waiting for the phone to ring so I can go strap on my ambulance and respond to someone's call for help. What the heck is THAT about?
And here's the next unplanned step in my life. Sitting on the floor of my apartment is a big pile of turnout gear I just picked up from the fire department that just hired me. I start my firefighter training soon, and I can't believe I'm doing this thing. However, of all the things I've done or tried to do, this last one is the one that feels the most natural. The most important. And all this time I was making other plans.