to rome with love

When was the last time you felt like anything was possible?  Childhood dreams have been on my mind lately, and, more specifically, how the dreams of our childhood shift and change as we grow older.  According to the Washington Post, the top 5 childhood career goals for children are the following:

Men
1. Professional or Olympic athlete
2. Scientist or Pilot (tie for 2nd)
4. Lawyer
5. Astronaut

Women:
1.Teacher
2. Veterinarian
3. Writer/Journalist/Novelist
4. Singer or Nurse/Doctor (tie for 4th)

How many people accomplish their childhood dreams?  Decide to pursue a goal at a young age, and then, slowly but surely, take steps to make their vision a reality?  Do you think that they are tempted and swayed by other opportunities as they proceed?  Do they feel fulfilled when they accomplish their dreams, or do they reminisce about missed opportunities?

And then, just as interesting and worthy of discussion, are the group of people who, either by choice or circumstance, leave their childhood dreams behind as they grow older.  Perhaps natural talents lead them toward a new dream, or they pursue something else that comes.. well.. easier.  Are these people content with the choices they made, or do they wish they’d pursued their dreams just a little bit longer?

The important thing, I suppose, is not about accomplishing our dreams, but about living a life that we find fulfilling.  With any luck, we are able to channel what impressed us about our childhood dreams (ie: teacher helping others, scientist making great discoveries) into our daily life.  In the end, it’s not about perfectly following the path you planned, but arriving somewhere  you feel content and fulfilled.

As for me, I grew up wanting to be the Ambassador to Italy.  Not a joke.  My eight year-old self told my father that I didn’t want to be the President, but I might like being the President’s helper.  My dad told me that the  Ambassador to Italy ate lots of pizza and helped Italians and Americans become friends.

The case was solved, the issue closed — I would become the Ambassador to Italy (I was also influenced by my dad’s assertion that Shirley Temple was an ambassador).  Until, of course, I realized I would much rather write stories than engage in politics.

Anyway, dear Readers, I was thinking about all this yesterday when I had some sort of divine inspiration for a fall dessert.  I love frozen yogurt enough to become the Ambassador of FroYo, and when I had a near perfect swirl of pumpkin pie and roasted marshmallow, I knew what I had to do :  I invented pumpkin-pie filled chocolate-covered marshmallows.  Can you say that three times fast?

It’s funny how life comes full circle, but I bet the President would make me the  Ambassador to Italy if he tried my marshmallow dessert.  It’s honestly that good.  ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

21 thoughts on “to rome with love

  1. I am all about following your childhood dreams or in hindsight, the characteristics of that said dream. All my life I have wanted to write and be published. I got distracted by money and circumstances along the way. But today, I am a writer and I am living the dream life I have always wanted.

    Funny story, when I was graduating from high school, I told myself that when I turned 40, I wanted to be happily married to my soulmate and to be a professional writer. Guess what? I am and I am! 🙂

    I also loved your recipe and will have to try it sometime. Chocolate covered ANYTHING is solid gold in my books! 😉 I bet all the Ambassadors in the world would LOVE it! 🙂

  2. You are not playing fairly as I sit here on a Friday morning awaiting the approaching lunch hour. Those pumpkin chocolate marshmallow desserts look absolutely divine!

    And how about that third group of people? The ones who decided that they pushed their childhood dreams to the back burner for long enough. The ones who decided they were still children and able to choose to follow the dream they had buried somewhere along the way. Those are the most inspiring bunch of all 😉

    “In the end, it’s not about perfectly following the path you planned, but arriving somewhere you feel content and fulfilled.”

    That just about sums it up perfectly, but eating a slice of pizza in Italy and helping others sure sounds mighty fine right about now 🙂

  3. Love it. I grew loving books and just wanted a job where I could read and talk about them with other people. I guess a Literature Professor is the closest thing to that dream! So far, I’m right on track! 🙂
    I’ll be happy to take some of the marshmallows off your hands…. YUM.

  4. I so think the President would make you the Ambassador to Italy if he tried your marshmallow dessert because I sure would if I was President!! 🙂

    On a serious note, I couldn’t agree with this post more…it’s truly about living a life that we find fulfilling. Yes childhood dreams matter and play an important role in what we end up doing with our lives, but I often find just walking along the path of life, and living the journey will lead us to being content. That is if we choose to accept the obstacles, persevere, and overcome them gracefully. Which I think circles back to leading a fulfilled life after all!

    Lovely, lovely post! Thank you for spreading some great wisdom! 🙂

    • I thought of you today while having brunch with a friend — we were talking about how people open to opportunities along the path is more important than following the path exactly — just enjoy the ride and try your best to find a path that works for you 🙂 And I couldn’t agree more about obstacles being part of a fulfilling life 🙂

  5. I have not felt this way in a very long time, I have had to deal with too many hardships. But I find it interesting to note that men’s or boys childhood dreams are about the self and self importance but women’s or the girls three out of the 4 involve care giving. Not that there is anything wrong with that per say. But still in our society I think there is a bit of portraying women as selfish or self absorbed if they want careers that are not nurturing. Interesting. But ambassador to Italy definitely sounds fun! Bring on the pizza! And this recipe oh my I will have to make this for my nephews!! I am going to take them to see “Bad Grandpa”–wish me luck!

    Ali of Dressing Ken

    • Interesting comment – I was thinking something very similar about the different career paths for the various genders. I was also thinking it would be interesting to compare what the top 5 careers for men and women actually — I wonder where I could find that information? Hope you had fun with the nephews 🙂

  6. Looks delicious. How sooo adorable of you wanting to be the ambassador of Italy :). You got it spot on. I wanted to be a vet of a zoo. I’m not the vet of a zoo, but it doesn’t matter 🙂 I have other things that make me happy! xx

    • the vet of a zoo? very sweet in how specific the dream is — not just a vet, but the vet of an entire zoo:) and i definitely agree – more important to have things that make you happy than to have a specific goal work out 🙂

  7. Oh man. You just gave me another idea for my gifted pumpkin goodness….!!! These look amazing (still adapting to the American sweet pumpkin thing!). When I was small, I wanted to be an animator. It stayed that way for about 10 years, but then when it came to enrolling at university I chickened out. Pah. Now my husband is an animator and I can live vicariously through him 😉 I’m a social worker by the way. I had no intention to end up in this career, God just kinda swept me out of my indecision and here I am! Beautiful post. I love the way you write xx

    • A social worker? Then we have more in common than we know 🙂 I got my BA in art history, and then I spent a year volunteering at orphanage in Mexico — the experience was so rewarding that I wanted to pursue social work, but I had already been accepted to a master’s program in art history. Soo.. I ended up going into nonprofit development for museums, and then channeling that into grantwriting and funding for community action agencies and nonprofits. What I’m trying to say here, I suppose, is that most of my career experience is social-work related 🙂

  8. I don’t know how I originally missed this marshmallow dessert post! But I’m so happy I came across it now because those look DIVINE.

    I always wanted to be a teacher. When I was in college I tried to convince myself I wanted to do something else (selfishly, something I could do & make more money) but every semester (until mid sophomore year when I officially declared my major) I would rearrange my schedule to my new “dream career” but alas, it would be switched back to all education classes before the semester started. My ultimate dream is to one day teach “big kids” who want to be teachers 🙂

    • hey danielle! i just used pure pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and brown sugar 🙂 i would just start with pure pumpkin and mix in the other ingredients until it tastes delicious. it’s actually really healthy this way — too bad i ruined it all with the marshmallows and chocolate 🙂

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