“And remember: the sky is the limit! You can be anything you want to be!”

“Thank you. I want to be a secretary.”

That stopped them short. “What?”

“A secretary,” she repeated.

“But…” they trailed off, dumbfounded. “Why? You could be a CEO, a scientist, a law–”

“I don’t want to be a CEO,” she said. “I want to be a secretary.”

They scoffed. “You want to answer phones all day?”

She smiled. “Yes.”

“Schedule appointments?”

“I like organizing.”

“Be a second banana?”

An affirmative nod. “I’m skilled at helping.”

“I just don’t understand,” they said. “HOW could you be okay with all of this?!”

“I enjoy the work.”


“I know.”

“Then WHY?!”

She shrugged.

“Because I want to be a secretary.”

Honestly though, this is very similar to my mom’s experience. She’s always been super bright, but has realized as she’s gotten older that intellectual pursuits just aren’t her jam. She dropped out of her PhD program to have kids, and although she has her master’s and was a pretty good school psychologist, she hated having to make huge decisions. She’s a church secretary now and loves it, and she’s GOOD at it; she’s letting her school psych certification permanently expire this year with zero regrets. If you can be anything you want, that includes the things we don’t tend to value as highly as a society. Not everybody is built for or wants the “respectable” careers.

My grandma did this to me, saying that i didn’t want to get stuck on the outside, making coffee and filing papers. The thing is, that’s exactly what I’ve always enjoyed the most, making and organizing things. That would be enough for me.

Nobody seems to realize that if you tell people they can be anything they want to be they will. And not everyone WANTS to be doctors or lawyers or CEOs or scientists. Sometimes, they just want to be a secretary.

it took me a LOT of therapy before i was able to shrug off the effects of the Gifted Child Upbringing enough to realize that what i really wanted to be was a house husband and Local Queerdad who writes novels sometimes. god, i’m so much happier now.

ain’t nothing wrong with an ordinary life. don’t let anybody tell you you have to be the top dog to be worth anything.

about a year ago my dad told me “you canbe whatever you want, and I won’t be dissapointed if you don’t change the world” which made me feel so much better. I want to change the world, but in small ways.

About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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