We'll get there eventually....
When my daughter was 5, we went on a family driving holiday,
in the days before GPS.
Driving through the rain-forest gullies of the Otway Ranges,
where there had been massive rainfalls the day before,
we kept encountering ominous signs of:
And as we turned off detour after detour,
we got further and further away from where we were supposed to be.
And yet, because this is some of the most ancient, most spectacular
rainforest we had ever seen,
we were discovering sights we would have never come across.
But as the light of day dwindled, my husband and I each began to wonder
if we would ever get there.
Our little daughter, with the wisdom of a 5 year old,
must have read our thoughts,
because she announced to the car in general:
And in that succinct moment,
we realised she was absolutely right.
About life in general, and about that moment in particular.
We do get where we want to be eventually,
even though the path may be a deviant one.
This saying has now become family mantra,
and is oft quoted when things take an unexpected turn:
because sometimes it is the deviant path
which provides the best experiences
of life itself.
I was asked to write about
what I imagined I would be when I grew up
as part of the monthly BIO blogging group series,
and I thought about my daughter's observation.
Because the path to my calling was certainly not straight forward,
but I have loved all the elements and experiences of my wayward journey,
and find they have enriched my appreciation of what I now do.
Looking back, it should have been obvious to me as a child
that all I ever really wanted to do was build things.
I built so many treehouses in my own garden that I ran out of trees,
and thus convinced most of my friends that we should spend
our weekends building treehouse in their gardens.
(Luckily they had obliging parents.)
School holidays were spent sketching buildings,
and my most treasured birthday present ever was from my best friend,
who gave me a Staedtler mechanical pencil from her father's
as he had noticed that I always borrowed his when at their house.
And yet, when I left school, this was all seemingly forgotten,
as I had no idea what I wanted to do.
I studied a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies,
because it sounded like it would cover most things which were interesting,
and hoped I would work out what I wanted to do by the end of it.
But I tried some interesting jobs as a result of it.
First working for a Fashion company who designed the uniforms
for the grand hotel chains, which was all very glamorous in the 1980s.
Then working as Training Manager for Jenny Craig,
which taught me lots about what motivates people.
But it felt like there was something missing.
One day, a couple of my friends commented
that as I mostly talked about buildings,
I should just bite the bullet,
follow my passion for architecture,
go back to Uni,
get it out of my system,
and could then talk to them about things other than buildings.
It was the proverbial light bulb moment!
I took their advice, and the rest fell into place.
The insights and experiences have been beyond my wildest dreams:
from designing gaols & shopping centres,
university buildings & casinos,
to what I do now,
my most favourite of all:
designing houses which people want to call home.
I find now, as my own children struggle to work out
what they want to be when they grow up,
in a world with so many vast and exciting options,
that I can only offer them this advice:
Pursue your passion,
make the world a better place,
grab every opportunity life throws your way,
and enjoy the ride,
Or at least I hope we do!
You can read about the other paths my fellow bloggers took here.