“Actually, when I was your age, I spent my time playing the piano too. I really loved some of the pieces you kids performed because my favorite composer is Chopin. When I was your age, I wanted to be a concert piano, but my parents refused to send me to school to be a concert pianist. They said when I got to college I could decide what I wanted to be but I couldn’t go to a piano conservatory until I was older. And by the time I got to college, I changed my mind and I decided I wanted to become a commercial artist. I never became a commercial artist though. I never made it through that point. But I became a court reporter instead, doing artwork on the side. I really like crafts and my interests have changed throughout the years. So now I’m into beading.”
I feel that Suzy’s life experiences resonate with many high school and college students. A few people will know exactly what they want to do with their lives and have planned it out a decade into the future. But the rest of us aren’t that sure. We have interests and goals but we don’t have a definite idea for our careers. Frankly, it’s somewhat intimidating to move onto the next part of your life without a clear path; it’s like trying to stay on a dirt path in the woods at midnight. Suzy seemed to have that vague direction as well moving from music to art to a court reporter, but I think it shows that a little confusion is okay. It’s acceptable not to have our life lined up right in front of us. The important thing to do is to follow our passions and do work that we care about. If we switch between various different jobs looking for the right fit, we should spend time learning new skills and teaching ourselves within those jobs so that we are better prepared for our next encounter. Flexibility and a desire for improvement are far better assets than a rigid hypothetical future.
“My heroes and role models? Wow...Gee that’s a good question. Um...you know, I don’t think there were a whole lot of people I considered heroes. That’s the truth. I just didn’t see a whole lot of people I considered heroes. As for my role models...my parents.”
I can’t speak for other people but as for myself, I can relate with Suzy in not considering anyone a hero. For Suzy, this mentality is truly fitting because her diverse mind and personality can’t be confined to a single person that she might idolize. She draws inspiration from a multitude of sources in order to inform herself as a unique individual. I too try to find inspiration from a variety of people. Of course, there are heroes in the world who accomplish incredible things under the most adverse of circumstances. But instead of idolizing a single person, I would rather learn from the best attributes of different people to improve myself rather than becoming a copy of another person.
Matching her diverse interests and inspirations, Suzy had a very unique first job.
“My first job was a job that doesn’t exist any longer. I was an operator at a company that made sample books for carpets and curtains and you know, when you go to look at a sample and they bring you all these books that have patterns. I worked for a company that made those books. I was what they called a PBX operator. The machine looked almost like a piano, but it had holes in it and you would answer phones. You would connect one phone to one person. They another persona when they were finished, the little light would turn off and you would pull out the cord and then you would plug the next people it. I was a telephone operator. That was my first job. My favorite job, however, was being a mother.”