daily prompt: all grows’d up

When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up? What are you? Are the two connected?

At 10, like any incredibly indecisive child, I wanted to be many things – from a Math Teacher to a Motorcycle Cop (who didn’t love Chips?) to an Army Sniper (I was an odd child, I know). But, a few years before that my life was impacted much more profoundly and has dictated where I am today.

At about the age of 3 or 4 my grandmother took my mother and I to New York City for the first time, which, for her, was going home – she grew up in Brooklyn. At such a young age I don’t remember much, but what I do remember, with clear and pristine detail, was sticking my head out the window of the cab, eyes bulging out of my head at all the amazing buildings. My mother was obviously concerned for my safety and repeatedly told me to get back in the car “right now, young man!”. :-\ Probably sound advice, but I doubt I listened very well. Still don’t.

A few years after this, at the age of 7, I helped build my first house. Yes, that’s right I HELPED BUILD our home. I went around the entire foundation with a pair of snips and picked off all the little rebar ties. Then once framing started my mother and I grabbed several dozen boxes of nails and hammered down the subfloor sheathing for the first and second floors. It took just 9 months to build and we managed to live in the home for just over 7 months before we had to move for my parents job relocation (sonofa*&&%^$$#**^*).

Over the years these experiences have stuck with me in incredibly ways. Like I mentioned, I’ve wanted to explore other careers, but architecture and construction were always my first loves. In my senior year of high school I had a free elective and decided to take drafting. My teacher saw some talent in me and gave me increasingly more difficult assignments, though I still finished all of them a full month before school was out and had absolutely nothing to do with my time.

Fast forward 15 years from that class and I’ve graduated college with my Masters in Architecture from one of the best programs in the country and am now 9 years into professional practice with only 3 exams standing between me and the legal title of Architect. To say I’m living my dream would be an understatement. I’ve said before that Architecture is not a forgiving profession. You’ve got to want it, otherwise the humdrum, day-to-day grind of client meetings and schedules and site visits and billing and RFI’s and Addenda, etc. will drag you down, chew you up and spit you out.

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7 thoughts on “daily prompt: all grows’d up

    • Oh, my “happy dance” will be much more obnoxious and irritating than that. 😉 I’ll be sure to post that video for future posterity. 😛

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  4. Jeremiah, when I was 10 I wanted to be a zoologist. However, at the same time I was constantly in trouble for taking things apart. I had a toy race car set, and I “repaired” the cars, often with a stack of parts left over. I had totally dismantled my bicycle numerous times and Dad had to reassemble it. I had dissected our telephones, and started electrical fires by playing with the transformers from my car and train sets. I also built dams and canals in the creek down the street. So, I guess I was programmed to be an engineer.

    I got diverted with a three year enlistment in the Army, but when I got out I started studying zoology in college. However, I liked math more than biology and on the recommendation of a few people who had opinions I respected, I switched majors to Civil Engineering. I’ve never looked back. Like Architecture, you have to be dedicated to do this, otherwise doing the mundane detail designs, the RFI’s, the submittal reviews and mind numbing calculations will make you hate life. I’ve met people the became engineers because it looked like a good job, and seen them hate every day they go to work. I think there are certain things you just have to be born to do. Engineering and Architecture are two of them.

    George

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