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Finding Your Bliss After 60: What Did You Always Want to Be When You Grew Up?

By Gloria Dunn-Violin September 17, 2022 Mindset

As a child, did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up? Did you aspire to be a teacher, doctor, musician or something else? When I was six, I wanted to be an actress.

What You Wanted to Be Has Meaning

Your desires of long ago are clues to your innate talents, skills and interests.

Yet you may have grown up like most of us by pushing away and replacing your aspirations and doing what you felt you should do as an adult. Over time, you may have forgotten your initial interests and moved on to other activities and responsibilities.

Still your wishes continued to exist, below the surface of your consciousness, waiting for the day that you would rediscover and express them.

Amy’s Story

When Amy was a child, her parents told her that her job as an adult was to bring home a paycheck. She listened, and did that for 30 years – until she acquired some physical problems. At that time, her doctor told her she needed to stop working or she would end up incapacitated.

So, she retired at 52.

“But, now what will I do,” she thought. “Well, perhaps I’ll take an art class.”

We see Amy on her first day in art class with a sketching pad and pen. Then out of nowhere, according to Amy, she began to draw beautiful illustrations of animals. A fox. A bear. A dog.

Over the next few weeks, 20 different animals appeared on her sketchpad. She was amazed! She said, “I didn’t know I could do this. I don’t know where all this came from.”

With time, she wrote a story about each animal. Then she made a booklet with the illustrations and stories, and gave it to her husband for Christmas.

Amy’s Discovery Gave Her Joy

What’s important about Amy’s story is that for most of her existence she didn’t know there was a beautiful, talented artist inside of her, and she could have expressed that inner artist her whole life.

Fortunately, she does now, and is enjoying her new avocation immensely. In fact, now that she knows she is an artist, she is adding other art forms to her palette of artistic endeavors, like painting in watercolor.

They say, don’t let the music die inside of you.

There are more stories about real people rediscovering themselves in my book, Revivement: Having a Life After Making a Living.

What Are You Doing to Find Your Music?

If you would like to discover what’s inside of you, write your answers to the following questions:

  1. What did I say I wanted to be when I grew up?
  2. What activities did I enjoy the most?
  3. What was the most fun when playing with other kids?
  4. What activities are so engrossing now that they make the day fly by?
  5. What else?

My Story

Becoming the person you dreamed you wanted to be when you grew up might not happen exactly the way you thought.

For instance, I didn’t become an actress. But I did become a professional speaker. Interestingly, my profession requires similar skills to acting – you get up on a stage, speak and provide interest, entertainment and education to an audience.

We all have something inside of us that needs to be honored, to shine and to bring out into the world. By finding the secret sauce within you, you will experience immense pleasure because you will be using the gifts and talents that align with who you are.

Now is the time for rediscovery.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What do you want to do now that you are grown up? What did you always want to do when you were a child? Please share your thoughts below!

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An artist and a gypsy. Still sounds fun.

The Author

Gloria Dunn-Violin is a professional speaker, workshop leader, and author of Revivement: Having a Life After Making a Living. Her 25-year background in organizational behavior and development, constant research and personal experience makes her uniquely qualified to guide retirees on their journey. She also hosted a cable TV talk show and writes for publication. Visit her site at

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