Posted by: The Saffa Mom | January 21, 2011

When I grow up, I want to be…

Tomorrow is the big big day!!! (You would swear I was getting married!)

I am turning 30! (Not quite yah yet- so my post on that.)

Have I done anything I planned to- growing up? NO, actually I haven’t. Clearly I was not taught the principals of goal setting….I think the real reason is because I was never focused enough. (Think that still might be the case?)

What did I have planned at the age of 14 for my life?  

It was all about career- I was going to be a Marine Biologist.

We lived 6 hours from the sea, and perhaps went to the coast twice a year….. but I was convinced that my soul mate may have been a dolphin.  I wore a pendant of a dolphin around my neck, and my school bag had been painted with dolphins. I wanted a dolphin tattooed around my belly button, luckily my dad was VERY strict at that stage, and knocked some sense into me! I doodled dolphins all day long, and even had a musical CD made with dolphins talking to each other. Whether I would end up living on a ship in the middle of the ocean doing research, or whether I would end up training dolphins to jump through hoops- was not the point in question……. it was that I was going to be a Marine Biologist, and that my waking moments would be with this creature!

I never became a Marine Biologist. Clearly!

Instead, I share a company that protects the commission earner- more specifically the Estate Agent. (Quite boring compared to spending days with dolphins!)

What happened? Well, life. It all caught up to me. Actually, my parent’s life all caught up to us. They were going through tough times….. they were up and down our whole lives depending on the entrepreneurial moment my dad was in. When I was in my last year of high school, I made some enquiries with all the right people and realised that I would need to move to the coast (well, duh!!!!). It didn’t only mean varsity fee’s, but I would need a roof over my head, transport and food. At that stage, my parents could only decline………… yes, I was sad, but that was life. I justified it by the fact that I hated science (not biology, but science), and most obviously science would be part of the degree. Stupid justification but it worked.

I decided to take a gap year in London, my dad flipped, but I waitressed at a Pizza restaurant for the whole of Matric (last year of high school), bought a ticket, and got on a plane a few weeks after receiving my results. I had just turned 18. (My Princess will not be allowed to do that!)I had enough money to keep me going for a month, well at least I thought I had. Who was I kidding- it was scary!   

With London (which could potentially be chapters and chapters on this blog), went any desire to find a direction. My future was the least of my worries. I had to figure out daily how I was going to pay this week’s rent and still party every night. Looking back- that was one of the greatest years of my life!!

I still remember phoning my dad (reverse charges… that was the only thing they paid for- my calls home) and confessing that I was flat broke. My intentions were to manipulate the situation into him sending me some money. I was not very good, and failed miserably. Instead, he stated very matter-of-factly that I had a return ticket, so I should then just come home.

I stayed the year! (And I think I made then proud.)   

Coming home to study was a must for my parents (I cried for weeks and weeks), so I chose a degree that was very general. BComm Marketing. I hated it so much that I never even went to my graduation- can you believe it? I still don’t have my certificate, and have never needed it. 

I sometimes find myself wondering if there is something I would like to throw my heart and soul into, and make a life of. Something that I could really be passionate about.  

I often think about teaching and kids. Education should be priority. The lack thereof is the stem of Africa’s problems. With education comes opportunity. But what about my business? Then I wonder if I should start a Law Degree, since much of my business deals in litigation. Instead of relying on a panel of attorneys, I could become a part of that panel? It doesn’t take long, and I realise that starting a degree- while trying to be a mom, employer, partner and BLOGGER- may be incredibly difficult. I have worked hard to be where I am. I have worked hard to build my business to “where it is”, even though it still has far to go. And yet, I still  find myself thinking about becoming an artist, a writer and a chef. I have even imagined starting a kennel house.

Yes, clearly I still suck in the direction department.

So….. Plan B- Here is hoping that my Thirties will bring me a vision that I cannot put down. Something that will create passion in every part of my body. Some direction for the next stage in my life.

So while we salute to that with a glass of red wine, tell me- what did you want to be growing up? Did you get there or did life get you first?



  1. I wanted to live the gentle life of a florist and found myself, almost accidentally in the world of advertising where I stayed for many years, thinking I was trapped there.
    You’re still in Chapter One of your life book, Baby, just keep going. You’re doing just fine.
    Happy birthday for tomorrow, will raise a glass to you!

    • Thank you girl!
      Yes, Chapter One- Four hundred more to go.
      A florist? You could perhaps still do that?

  2. Life is what happens to you when you are not paying attention. Very few of us, ever achieve the goals or dreams of youth, we settle for less, we shelve our passions, we take a slight detour or just flat out give up on the dream.

    Like the French writer said, “Most men live lives of quiet desperation.” But all of the news is not bad, I have for instance, sat out to do a number of things in life, and somehow managed to accomplish most of them along the way. It wasn’t anything close to what I wanted it to be … but it was real.

    And in the end … That is all that counts.

    Happy Birthday Sis, I have been “thirty twice now” and it is okay, you will find it just swell … go for it.


    • Thank you DS!
      I think too often people just start living in survival mode, and that is sad. Those dreams never come to life.
      I want to be able to dream like a kid again.
      If you asked me what i wanted to drive now, it woudl be some sort of family car, perhaps a Land Rover- for my new country life.
      However if you asked me when i was 10 years old, I would have said a ferrari.
      I want to dream like that again, and not let life take over.
      Have a drink on me!!!!!

  3. Nuts … that should be I have for instance, “set” out to do a number of things in life.

    (One for example would be my tendency to be so self critical of what I write hahahahahahaha)

    Happy Birthday.


  4. Hey Bokkie. I also did the gap year thing at 18, amazing experience, except it was in 1988 (No working visa’s for Safricans).
    I have been on the same career path for 21 years – Bookkeeping! But I really wanted to be an interior designer, fashion designer, landscaper, make-up artist, aerobics instructor, pyschologist (not a good spelling one), great chef, primary school teacher. Just think if I had done these I would now be what I want to be “a domestic Goddess”. I hope you have a great 30th. CTX

    • An Aerobics instructor? Crazy!
      Mind you, you woudl have an absolutely awesome butt if that was the case.
      Perhaps i would like to be one of those too. Haha.
      Have a glass of wine on me tomorrow!

  5. You know what, you might still live your life with those dolphins that you love. Maybe not as a marine biologist, but if that passion is still there, you’ve got your whole life ahead of you to find them!
    In the mean time, you’re gathering so much life experience and wisdom. And, as John Lennon says, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”
    Happy birthday, lovely bokkie, hope you have a lovely time. We’ll drink a toast to you here in London.
    Sunshine xx

    • Thanks for that! Make sure to really think about me when you do.
      And yes, perhaps you right- I may one day end up in the water with those dolphins.

  6. I was going to be an artist! I don’t even have time to buy paint, never mind paint! Life is a series of things we don’t expect. That’s what makes it interesting 🙂
    Happy Birthday!

    • You should use your teaching time as art time. Haha. The kids will think that all you do in school is paint, they will love it!
      Interesting it is!
      Thanks Ed!! Had an awesome birthday.

  7. I think its so interesting how many of us work in jobs that are okay but just don’t thrill us to death. I think there are two kinds of people, the realists who understand their job is a means to an end… i.e. I do this so I can provide for my family and have some kind of life outside of work. Then there’s the dreamers, all of us… who can’t really compartmentalize work from life, who think work is life, and who, when were not really happy with work, were not really happy with life. Your are still very young and still have time to figure out what you want to be when you grow up. I’ve got 13 years on you and I still think I have time to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I also think though, people need to be careful when working in their dream careers. I’ll take, just as an example, the women who mentioned being a florist above. Well you open the florist shop and everything is wonderful, but pretty soon reality hits, you have to deal with employees who are late or don’t show up, or maybe at some point you have to fire. You have to deal with all the technology involved in running a business, computers, cash registers, internet connection which sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. You have to buy insurance to cover your business and your investment and your building and your ass. You have to pay a bunch of money for a decent accountant because now you’re self employed and your taxes just became 100x more complicated…etc. Suddenly your dream career is nothing but a bunch of headaches… that’s why I recommend just moving into the woods!!! LOL

    • You are so right!!!
      I think the woods looks great.
      My littel girl always says when we are cycling past a stretch of trees and grass close to home- “is that the woods mama?” Well, not really but yes- sort of. “Is that where the wolf lives?” I have a hard time expaining that the wolf is only in story books, not in our woods.
      Have any wolves in yoru woods?

  8. I wanted to become a child psychologist, a author of a book, a foundation phase teacher, and artist, a lawyer and a beach bum….sadly I NEVER got around to any of them and became a systems support goffer….sux.

    I will drink to you and your birthday….I will drink to direction in your life (not that I think u need it – u r very put together and very funny) …. And I will drink to your future and hope that all ur dreams (even if u dabble in all of them and find all of them wanting) you will find what your soul has passion for and God will lead u there, and hold u when u think u can’t anymore….

    Have a lekker birthday Bokkie….

    • Goffer? Haha.
      I see you also did a lot of drinking for me on Saturday?
      I had an awesome birthday girl. Thank you.

  9. I got 28 years in as a plumber. The last 2 unemployed. Growing up I had no idea what a plumber was. It was kinda handed to me and I took it an ran with it. I can fix anything in plumbing! I gotta have my hands involved, I know I am not a desk person.
    My dad was a carpenter so maybe that’s where the wood crafting comes in.
    Thinking about starting my own plumbing business (scary). Like BR said will my passion for plumbing translate into loving my own business or am I better off letting someone else have those hassles and just work for them?! Gotta find a job first though. 😦


    • I thougt Plumbers woudl always have a job. The fact is whether there is a recession or not, when your toilet starts overflowing- you will pay anything!!! People’s SH1T is your bread and butter. I think you should go for it!!!!
      PS Thanks, had an awesome birthday!

  10. Everything happens for a reason. 🙂 I planned on going to law school (I have two B.A. degrees and a Paralegal Certificate to boost my law school application), and due to a death in the family, my husband and I were handed a ranch with 40 head of cattle to take care of instead. I long for the streneous experience of law school and excitement of practicing the law, but then I take a breath, look around outside, and realize how blessed my new direction is. I traded stress and money for no stress and self-sustainability. I’m almost 30, and I know there will always be those “what-if” days, but overall, I’m so glad I got handed the deck I did.

    • I think that sounds absolutely amazing!!! Even if you do have those “what if” days.
      Perhaps in a few years you could re-look at it all? See if you still like living in paradise. Start studying from home?
      Thanks for visiting! Nice to get new faces amongst all the ones that I love.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: