Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

Friday, November 12, 2010

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Since my husband Jeff and I moved to New York 17 years ago, we’ve met the most interesting people – people who recognize that each of us is a work in progress; motivated people who are not afraid of self-exploration and trying new things. Consider the diamond merchant-turned-restaurateur, the possibly aspiring actress-turned-world renowned chef-turned-cookbook author (I need to check some of the facts on that), the IT specialist who makes beautiful jewelry, the contractor-turned-software developer, the grant-maker with an affinity for Japanese culture, the video set designer-turned-interior designer, the graphic artist-turned-bookkeeper-turned-pastry chef, the broadcast journalist-turned-teacher, and the lawyer-turned-author. Today I met a woman who created a phenomenally successful cosmetic line and is now director of a non-profit organization focused on illustrators and education. She left the corporate world when it no longer interested her and she was ready to try something new. She brought a lifetime of skills to her new position where she’s made an enormous impact. 

It's ok to change career paths if you feel that you've done what you can in one field and you're aching to enter a new one. And it's always ok to explore new things; particularly, yourself.  It’s important to pay attention to ourselves and our interests.Cultivating interests is about more than arming yourself with talking points at a cocktail party. It's about living a satisfying life.

The grant-maker, referenced above, periodically visits the gallery at the Japan Society to see the new exhibits. She recently viewed the paintings and calligraphy by Zen Master Hakuin. She likes to see and experience new things. She’s easily one of the busiest people I know but she makes the time because it’s important to her to cultivate her interest and see new things. As a result, she’s an incredibly multi-faceted and interesting person. Don’t we all owe it to ourselves to make the time to explore and cultivate our interests? Don’t we owe it to our children? Maybe we should stop asking children what they want to be when they grow up - maybe we should ask them who
they want to be and what they like to do and leave it at that!

Try something new this weekend to expand your horizons. If you're in Manhattan, you might want to visit the Original Art exhibit (featuring stunning picture book art from books published in the last year) at the Society of Illustrators on E. 63rd Street. If you're in Connecticut, you might want to visit the Garbage Museum in Stratford - no joke! The Trash-a-saurus to the left is the main attraction. If you're interested in garbage but not so much in Stratford, take a look at the wonderful new picture book by Jonah Winter called Here Comes The Garbage Barge, which was recently named one of the New York Times Best Illustrated Cildren's Books of 2010. 

If you're not into leaving home, get your family together and try one of the awesome recipes from one of the outstanding cookbooks penned by the fabulous Rozanne Gold (guess who she is from the list up top). You'll easily find something delectable to stir up in any of these:

Speaking of interesting people and career changers, I just want to give a shout out to a particular insurance person-turned-librarian-turned CBC Events and Programs Manager, without whom I never would have started this blog and so much more!

Finally, if you played trivia in yesterday's blogpost, check your answers:

a. A mountain troll is attacking you, fend it off! Wingardium Leviosa
b. You know that evil jinx Malfoy came from Malfoy’s wand—even if no one else does. Prove it. Prior Incantato/Priori Incantatum
c. A furious grindylow has grabbed hold of your ankle, get it off! Relashio
d. Your annoying but well-intentioned friend *cough—Nevil* won’t stop tagging along on your missions to conquer the dark lord, get him out of the way already! Petrificus Totalus

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