“And remember: the sky is the limit! You can be anything you want to be!”

“Thank you. I want to be a secretary.”

That stopped them short. “What?”

“A secretary,” she repeated.

“But…” they trailed off, dumbfounded. “Why? You could be a CEO, a scientist, a law–”

“I don’t want to be a CEO,” she said. “I want to be a secretary.”

They scoffed. “You want to answer phones all day?”

She smiled. “Yes.”

“Schedule appointments?”

“I like organizing.”

“Be a second banana?”

An affirmative nod. “I’m skilled at helping.”

“I just don’t understand,” they said. “HOW could you be okay with all of this?!”

“I enjoy the work.”


“I know.”

“Then WHY?!”

She shrugged.

“Because I want to be a secretary.”

Honestly though, this is very similar to my mom’s experience. She’s always been super bright, but has realized as she’s gotten older that intellectual pursuits just aren’t her jam. She dropped out of her PhD program to have kids, and although she has her master’s and was a pretty good school psychologist, she hated having to make huge decisions. She’s a church secretary now and loves it, and she’s GOOD at it; she’s letting her school psych certification permanently expire this year with zero regrets. If you can be anything you want, that includes the things we don’t tend to value as highly as a society. Not everybody is built for or wants the “respectable” careers.

My grandma did this to me, saying that i didn’t want to get stuck on the outside, making coffee and filing papers. The thing is, that’s exactly what I’ve always enjoyed the most, making and organizing things. That would be enough for me.

Nobody seems to realize that if you tell people they can be anything they want to be they will. And not everyone WANTS to be doctors or lawyers or CEOs or scientists. Sometimes, they just want to be a secretary.

it took me a LOT of therapy before i was able to shrug off the effects of the Gifted Child Upbringing enough to realize that what i really wanted to be was a house husband and Local Queerdad who writes novels sometimes. god, i’m so much happier now.

ain’t nothing wrong with an ordinary life. don’t let anybody tell you you have to be the top dog to be worth anything.

As a secretary for a therapy center—outside of like shitty people in and out of the office, the jobs lit af and you get to look as cute or as Un-cute as you want everyday and it’s totes fine ALSO FREE STATIONARY!!?!?!

Truly the dream.

I agree with all of this and I also feel like the extreme competition for most “respectable” jobs is manufactured by having such a two-tier economy that people are desperate for the financial freedom only a few jobs truly allow.

If someone actually enjoys retail (my mother) and you need retail people why does a retail worker have to be punished with starvation wages?

Also when a minimum wage job goes up to a living wage and someone I work with goes “haha that’s how much I make now I should go work for Dominos” I always just say if that’s what you want to do then you should! You must be so excited that you can! But they just shake their head or admit they’d hate that job. Because when they say that they don’t mean “I should work there and would if I could afford to!” They mean “that job and those people are below me and shouldn’t make my wage.”

In conclusion the entire idea of respectable jobs is bullshit. Do exactly what you want and fight to get what you deserve from it and don’t let anyone tell you you should do anything else.

Normalize doing common, necessary things well. Normalize respecting people who do good work. Appreciate indoor plumbing and functioning electricity and a really good pizza. Appreciate phlebotomists who are good at getting a good sample on the first try.

Secretaries and janitors are THE most important people in any kind of organization and do harder and more vital work than your average CEO ever will.