Monday, January 19, 2009

We become what we are

I joined Facebook (a social networking site online) this weekend, and it has me strolling happily down memory lane. I got out my big musty envelope of report cards, and my photo albums, and my yearbooks and have been having lots of fun and laughing a lot. I even discovered that two of my high school friends, actors and musicians, are friends with fiber artist Elin Waterston because of their connection to The Affordable Floors. Weird! (Postnote: Make that three friends... she even knows the guy who played Rolf to my Liesl in our high school’s 1981 production of “The Sound of Music.”)

I grew up in Mt. Lebanon, a suburb of Pittsburgh, but left the area after I finished college. At the same time, my parents moved, and I did not go back to my hometown much after this. As a result, I lost touch with all but a few of my high school friends. Facebook is helping me reconnect, nearly 30 years later.

What is so amazing is to find people doing pretty much what you expected (with a few exceptions, of course). Which got me thinking... how much are we set/fixed/decided when we are 16? and how much changes after that?

One of the most intriguing things I dug out was this, my “Vocational Interest Inventory” from junior high school. (Thanks, Mom, for saving all this stuff.)

I ranked as high as you can get for “Aesthetic-Cultural” (which includes fields/professions such as crafts(wo)man, writer, communications, actor, dancer, interior decorator, painter, photographer, sculptor and architect), and next highest for “Service” (teaching, communications, medicine, nursing, psychology, counseling, clergy, law, social work, law enforcement).

Yep, it’s all there. I was never going to be an archeaologist (my career of choice in elementary school), or a vet (junior high), or a geologist (sophomore year in college). My lowest score was “Manual,” which confirms my belief that I was never meant to be a custodian, gas station attendant, or member of the armed forces.

I am what I am.

I am what I was (even if I didn't know it at the time).