Do you remember when you were little and you’d have those career days in elementary school when you were supposed to dress up as what you wanted to be when you grew up? I do. My mother worked for a lawyer’s office and I’d see her leave the house everyday in her jacket and dress/skirt with either blue, white or black heels on. So on our career day I would dress like her. I’d have my little dress jacket and have on a skirt or some kind of black dress and I’d carry her extra briefcase around with me all day instead of my back pack. Most of my other classmates were dressed as doctors or firemen or nurses. One of my friends even dressed as a cheerleader once.
I remember having big dreams for myself at that young age when it seemed like I would have to wait forever to be out of school and onto college to be a lawyer. Looking back now I really did want to be a lawyer when I got older, but as we know now – that didn’t happen.
Once in high school they started in on you. What college are you interested in? You will have to have so and so GPA to get there and get a scholarship. What degree is it that you are interested in? It’s like they asked you a million questions for which you really had no answer to at 14 or 15 and being scared to death to actually BE in high school. I remember thinking – this is it. This is all I have left of school and then I’m out. I’ll go to a college far away and live in a dorm and have new friends and go to parties and be in a sorority.
My freshman year I didn’t know what I wanted. Sophomore year came and they gave us some test that was supposed to tell us what profession we would be best suited for and what we would have to do from here on out to obtain said profession if that is what we chose. I remember getting my results back and wasn’t all that happy with the answers. They gave you three options based on your scores and they were in no particular order. Mine was as follows: Accountant, Teacher, Psychologist. Totally not any relation to each other and totally not what I had expected.
Like I said – I had big dreams for myself when I was little. That dream was still there only I wasn’t a lawyer in it anymore. I was a Psychologist. For the next two years I studied and studied hard. Come senior year I was only required to take two classes – English 4 and Algebra II – The other classes I could pick electives. I chose a few no brainer classes like computer and P.E. but there was also Accounting 101 and Psychology 101. So I took both.
Each class had its people who thought that it would be an easy A – I was not one of those people. In accounting we had to keep an actual ledger book and use a 10 key calculator with print out tape. I passed the class without any problem. Maybe because I was so organized and kept a ledger anyway of my own checking account daily. Psychology was probably my favorite. I liked the teacher, he wasn’t overbearing or loud. He was kind of laid back and cool – like he had never really left the 70’s. With his long graying hair and black square glasses and his height, he kind of reminded me of Dumbledor in Harry Potter – just not as old. I passed that class too without much of a problem.
So – I picked – finally towards the end of my last year of high school. I would go to Berry College in Rome for Psychology. I would take the summer off and apply for all my scholarships and start in the fall of 2001. Well – that never happened. Just after graduation and taking a few months to actually BE a so-called adult – before I told my mother or anyone else my plans – I got pregnant.
I couldn’t go to college and be pregnant at the same time. Who was I kidding? I just knew that everyone would look at me different because well – I was different. No other 18-year-old I knew at the time was pregnant and I was sure that no one at Berry College was either. So I never filled out my scholarship forms, I never told anyone what I had planned on doing. Instead – I found a good paying job ($10 an hour) drawing out plans for a company in town using Excel. Yes – it is possible.
Now – gosh – 10 years later I have a son who will be 9 next month and working at another awesome paying job which I do actually like – married to an awesome guy. Yet – I still hold those big dreams. I dream of one day having an old Victorian era house that we can fix up bit by bit living somewhere on the beach, lake or even a river.
I feel like I am too old (28 by the way) to start trying to figure out how to go back to college for anything. I feel like my time has passed to do something with my life. But – I still have one final want that I think I could accomplish. Since I was 13 or 14 I have been writing. Anything really – poetry, short stories but mostly poetry. I was even published in a young authors book once. I never bought a copy though and can’t remember the name of the book for the life of me. I had sent in a poem through school or something – it was exciting to know that something I wrote would be printed for everyone to see.
That is my secret want that I haven’t really told anyone but my mother and my husband about. I want to write – which I do – often but I want to write and be published. Even if it’s a magazine article or a column in the paper. I wonder if the four books I have in the works anyone in the world will like. I wonder if Stephanie Meyer had any of these thoughts while she was writing Twilight. I wonder if Stephen King ever wondered what he would do with his life.
So – I am looking for creative writing or journalism classes to take. I have found a few degrees online but don’t have a lot of information yet. I am searching Craigslist and the news paper daily for any openings or opportunities to write for someone even if it’s for free just so I can see my name in print.
Keep you posted – xo S.J.