Childhood Dream Jobs & Now


What was your dream job (occupation) as a child? Had it come true? Are you doing something that is related to what you have always wanted to be?

When I was a child, I wanted to be an international veterinarian (vet). I wanted to live in other countries speaking different languages and helping their animals. If a large event happened like a natural disaster, I wanted to be there on site to volunteer and help the animals.

The reason has a lot to do with my childhood. I was raised in the state of Illinois located in the center part of the U.S. Many international people and Americans know only Chicago, IL. It is a major U.S. city. However, I was not raised near Chicago or a big city.

My hometown has only 1600 total people and is located in middle of the state. It is all farmland and countryside. People have hundreds to thousands of acres of land per family. You see lots of crops like wheat, soy beans and corn growing everywhere that farmers will sell. Americans call it “the farmland of the U.S.” This is a place where everyone knows one’s family, grandparents, and ancestors.

People are friendly and help anyone on the road that has a problem. No one is afraid that someone bad will hurt them, so the doors and windows of the houses are open and people just come inside instead of knocking first. The local hardware store still lets people have a monthly bill. People shop and buy what they need without paying until the end of the month.

My parents, siblings and I lived on a farm in the country (five miles from town). My father’s profession is building new and restoring homes. However, he wanted his children to learn the value of working hard. So, we had 150-200 sheep. This was supposed to be a hobby, but believe me, it was a full time job. We had chores every day because each child had 25-40 sheep that were his/her own. We also had goats, cows, pigs, ducks, geese, chickens, rabbits, dogs and cats (at different times) that people didn’t want and we adopted them. However, we always had sheep.

I grew up with animals all my life. All of our friends and neighbors had large farms and lots of animals too. My first sheep was given to me when I was a toddler (around two years old) since it needed to live in our house and have special food. Its mother had died, and I was in charge of feeding it. We built a friendship that never ceased. I named her “Little” because she was so tiny. No one thought she would live, but I did. So, my parents told me to take care of her. She did live and were best friends for more than 12 years.

During all the years I grew up and we had animals, I saw lots of things happen (both good and bad). I wanted to help and heal those who got hurt or sick. My mother is wonderful and she was able to help our animals more than our area vets. She is a genius when it comes to helping sick animals. Many times the local vet would say our animal would die, but with my mother’s care it survived and became 100% healthy again. I wanted to be like her and help animals too.

We also had a family friend who taught Spanish at the university. He and his family also had sheep. He traveled to countries and lead student groups to different Spanish speaking countries. I thought that was so interesting. I wanted to speak other languages and travel the world too. When I was a child, I wanted to combine my passion of helping animals and traveling the world. I did not decide to become a vet. However, I did choose to study foreign languages (Spanish and French) in the university as my Bachelor of Arts major. Then, I continued my education with my Master of Arts Teaching degree in T.E.S.O.L (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

I have traveled, studied and lived/worked in several countries around the world. My passion and love for animals has never ceased. However, I have chosen to help “people” vs. “animals” for my profession. I am never far from animals though or helping those who are ill/hurt. We have a cat that we adopted from an animal shelter 10 years ago. Her name is “Cupcake.” And, whenever one of our friends has a sick animal, they usually call me first to ask advice before taking their animal into the vet. I will always love animals. They have a special place in my heart!

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