Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Oh The Places We Go

When you were little what did you want to be when you grew up? Me, from the time I was in elementary school right through high school I dreamed of being a famous writer. I have no idea what inspired this idea in my child's mind but I had this fantasy of sitting with my trusty electric typewriter (yes, this was back in the days when owning a personal computer was pretty much reserved for only the biggest techies) and typing out a great novel. At times I'd be living in Paris or Italy--places I had only dreamed about at the time--the location varied but my dream didn't. I spent the summer between my high school graduation and heading off to college typing away on my portable word processor (I had upgraded by then) writing what was going to be my debut novel. I finished it but come September I packed it away in a box and headed off to college.

Once in college I was overwhelmed by my class and career options and despite the plethora of writing classes that were offered, I never actually took one. My pages of my "novel" grew dusty and yellowed over the next four years as I switched majors, pondered my future and somehow graduated with a history major, no job and a vague plan to attend law school in the "future". I still thought about writing, dabbled with keeping a journal for awhile but focused my energies on a series of jobs that would keep a roof over my head. When I went back to graduate school I toyed with getting a masters in fine arts with a focus on creative writing but opted instead for the much more logical and marketable masters in public policy. And as they say, the rest is history.

I've come a long way since I had those young school fantasies. I never made it to law school but instead have found meaningful work in other venues. I've married, had a child and moved. A lot.  I've travelled the world and seen places that I only read about in books. I've visited countries that didn't even exist when I was in school and lived in one that most Americans never contemplated visiting let alone living in. I've discovered that I have a knack for cooking and can whip up a decent meal with limited ingredients and less than ideal conditions. The enjoyment I find in dabbling with watercolors and photography are recent discoveries but ones that I will definitely explore further. And through all of this I am still writing. Its not a novel (yet) but I have stories to tell and ideas to share and thanks to the Internet (yet another thing I never imagined when I was a child) I am able to easily do so to as many or as few people as choose to read what I produce. None of these are things I even contemplated as being possibilities way back when.

And now, I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up. Will I finally write that long dreamed about novel? Or perhaps open my own bed and breakfast on the ocean where we grow our own food and everything from the furniture to the snacks are homemade? The possibilities of what the holds are truly limitless. So only time will tell what happens next.

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