“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Ah, that age old question.
When I was a little girl I thought I wanted to be a school bus driver. Everyone else wanted to be a doctor, a policeman, or a teacher…and then…there was me, that awkward little girl who wanted to be a school bus driver.
I was always way too self-conscious to admit something so embarrassing, so I never revealed my secret to anyone, until I realized WHY I was so drawn to wanting to drive a school bus.
When I was in first grade, I remember having the most kind and beautiful bus driver who would stop near the corner of Londonberry Lane to pick me up, along with the rest of the school crew, every weekday morning. She was so pretty and so nice, and she greeted everyone with such friendliness and warmth, that one couldn’t help but feel extra special in her presence. She welcomed us onto the bus with a big bowl of hard candy (this was back in the ‘70s!) and was always so pleasant and sweet. There was a permanently etched smile on her face, and a ‘sing-song’ melody to her voice. What a wonderful way to start the day greeted by a woman spilling over with kindness!
Many-many years later it hit me, it’s not WHAT she was doing, but WHO she was that led me to believe I wanted to be a school bus driver.
I wanted to be just like her because of how special and valued she made me feel; because of her cheery disposition and genuine smile; because of the uplifting impact she made on those around her; because of the way she brought joy to each and every child who boarded her inspiring bus filled with love and kindness.
Instead of being defined by something outside of ourselves, a “job” or a “position” we acquire, what if we were to grow up with people asking what qualities we admire in others, what things we enjoy doing, what makes us happy and brings our soul alive. I think these are the real questions we need to ask. It is these questions that will lead to a path of fulfillment, as it becomes a discovery of those gifts already within ourselves, our inherent desires and passions; and when our work is based around that, it is then we will find happiness – when it is about WHO we are, not “what” we think we should be doing.
In other words, when how we earn a living matches our interests and passions, it stops feeling like work. And even if that isn’t how we earn our living, as long as we’re doing something in our lives that enhances those traits, such as a hobby, sport, craft or volunteer work, we feel more alive and our lives flow so much smoother because we are living a more balanced life.
Just like my unforgettable bus driver from long ago (who never worked a day in her life!), I love making a difference, spreading kindness, bringing joy and inspiration to others. So I ask you to look for the qualities you admire in others, and then to explore your heart and soul and find those traits and other jewels in yourself. Also ask your children and other people in your life what they’re passionate about and encourage their interests … and let’s all hop on the love bus and enjoy and embrace a life filled with purpose and passion!
Peace & Blessings, Victoria Vruno
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: After her father’s near-death experience from heart disease in 2009 (and surviving a 6 week coma), and then naturally curing her Hypothyroidism and Candida overgrowth, Victoria became fascinated with health and nutrition and credits these experiences as being the catalyst for pursuing her degree in Holistic Nutrition. Victoria is also a published poet and author, and is a proud mother of two college age sons. She lives in the suburbs of Chicago where she is a charter member of Unity of Fox Valley’s Green Team, which supports organic and sustainable living. You can view Victoria’s inspiring product line, “Owning Joy,” by clicking here! You can view her inspirational life musings on her blog by clicking here!
Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.
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