Dear Complete and Total Loser,
I turned 12 four months ago and my parents are already trying to make me decide what I want to be when I'm an adult. I don't know! They always talk about what colleges are good if you want to learn this and that. Right now, I just want to get to high school. What can I say to them to make them stop?
It is hard at any age to decide on what you want to do, and even people who make firm decisions and become professionals sometimes switch and do something completely different. There are some who are lucky enough to have the same desire from childhood and stick with it until they die. But your parents aren't completely wrong -- they're just early, by about a decade. The Loser wishes he had had the confidence to pursue his ambition to be what he wanted when he was young. As it was, he was in his 30s when he finally did and only had a truncated career that failed. Offer your parents a compromise. Tell them you will have a definite idea of what you will be when you're 20 and that you'll pursue it with all your heart by the time you're 25.
Meanwhile, do what Maurice Sendak, who died today, told an interviewer last September: "Live your life, live your life, live your life."
The Complete and Total Loser
|Maurice Sendak, 1928 - 2012. (AP photo)|