What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

When was the last time anyone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up? For whatever reason I think people stop asking because they make the perfectly silly assumption that we’re already grown-up…


Whatever made them believe that is beyond me. I want to always be growing and working on myself. Life is kind of boring if you’re not pushing yourself toward a goal or a dream, isn’t it? If I really work on myself I get the gift of waking up in the morning and saying “hey, I’m a little bit awesomer than I was yesterday”! It’s an amazing thing to continually have the option to find some self esteem and self confidence through personal growth. Why would I ever want to give that option up even for one day of my life?

Every day… every hour… every moment is an opportunity for personal growth into a person that can make you indescribably happy with yourself. I want to be a really super duper  amazing awesome person when I grow up!

When I was very young I was going to be an astronaut/pop star/marine biologist. Yes, I was fully intent on being all three! Then I wanted to be an exobiologist, and wound up majoring in paleobiology. I figured I should understand the life and fossils on this planet to have a better understanding of any life and fossils found elsewhere. I’ve found that my underlying driving force for my scientific aspirations is that I really just want to help people be excited, curious, and in awe of this amazing place we live in the universe. We are confronted with so many amazing things when we simply walk out the door in the morning!

The next time you walk outside take a look at the sky. That atmosphere is approximately 373 miles/600 kilometers of gas, and the only thing between you and the insurmountable vastness of space. 373 miles is around the same distance between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Did you ever wonder why the sky is blue? Sunlight through the atmosphere is white light coming through a gigantic prism. It’s this 373 miles distance that scatters the shorter smaller waves of blue light across our sky during the day; and as the sun gets further away from our viewing point, sending light through longer portions of atmosphere, we see colors with longer wavelengths like orange, pink, and red in sunsets and sunrises. If our atmosphere was thicker or thinner or even denser our sky might be all sorts of different fun colors! Maybe even green!

You know that ground you’re standing on? That’s 13,166,425,2o0,000,000,000,000,000 pounds/5,973,600,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg of mostly molten rock and liquid metals with a thin “crusty” skin you get to put your feetsies on.

All the while the planet you’re standing on is spinning around its own axis at 1,000 miles per hour/1,609 kilometers per hour, sailing around our sun at 67,000 miles per hour/107,826 kilometers per hour, and hurdling through our galaxy 490,000 miles per hour/788,578 kilometers per hour.

That just makes this meme from the “I Love Smart Women” fan page on Facebook that much funnier!


You know that sunshine that you can feel on your skin? That’s photons that have traveled 92,960,000 miles/149,600,000 kilometers from a giant ball of gas that has 333,000 times more mass than the planet you’re standing on.

Here’s a photograph taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft from about 3.7 billion miles/6 billion kilometers away.


See where that arrow is pointing to a pale blue dot? That’s where the mall of the universe is saying “you are here”. Yup, that pale blue dot is us!

Just take that all in for a second…

Take a deep breath and try to fathom all that…

You’re walking around on a giant rock that’s mostly swirling intensely hot liquid elements flying through space.

Doesn’t that make you feel like a BADASS?!?!?

Put your Superman arms up for me right now.

Superman flying 9 17 10

Your new “life homework assignment” is to put your Superman arms up while you’re outside at some point this week while breathing in the awesomeness of everything – then hopefully you’ll come back and tell me about it!

If anyone asks you why your Superman arms are up just explain to them that they have permission to put their Superman arms up too because you’re both riding a ball of fiery magma at crazy intense speeds through outer space.

So, what do I want to be when I grow up? I want to be me. I want to be me in all the awesome crazy aspects of me – evolving, growing, learning – superhero-ing my way through the universe and never being done growing up.

9 thoughts on “What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

  1. Fantastic post pal.

    Let me ask you something, with all those amazing facts about Earth/space/Sun, do you think we are alone? (Unsure of your religious beliefs).

    As you know my situation is slightly different, in many ways I am only six years old. I’ve been learning life all over again and if I don’t challenge myself to improve every day then I’m not taking advantage of still being alive, for which I am very lucky and fortunate.

    As I said, great post.

    • I kind of like to take the same stance as “Ellie” when she’s leading the field trip in the movie “Contact” – “I’ll tell you one thing about the universe, though. The universe is a pretty big place. It’s bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So if it’s just us… seems like an awful waste of space. Right?” I saw a documentary once that said the only thing that clearly distinguishes humans from other animals is the fact that we “look up” – we look up and wonder what else is out there, and what our place is in the universe. If we’re biologically hardwired to “look up” seems like there might be a reason for that. If you like reading or listening to audible books I suggest “Contact” by Carl Sagan. I have a very worn copy I’ve read over and over again. I have to say it’s such a very wonderful thing to take advantage of being alive! It’s so much more fun to choose to live instead of merely existing. 🙂

  2. Wow, what a post! So rich and full of information. I agree with you…one should never stop growing up because it’s fact that we don’t. Thank you for dropping in and following my blog. I’ll be checking in here! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Did You Put Your Superman Arms Up Today? | Rachie Adventures

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s