As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? How close or far are you from that vision?
First, I wanted to marry my Papa when I grew up, and then I wanted to be an artist so I could color all the time.
Those two weren’t going to pan out, so I thought being in a Symphonic Orchestra might be great. I took up the flute. Seventh through twelfth grades, I never made first chair. People said if you weren’t top-notch that you weren’t going to cut it in the real world of orchestra – and I believed them.
In-between wanting to play in an orchestra, I always entertained the idea of being a flight attendant. An easier way to travel than auditioning and then being turned down for various orchestra houses.
Once again, I let others decide things for me and never pursued that dream because of what they said about things like height and looks requirements – which at that time had the potential to crush my fragile ego to bits and make me want to kill myself. (I was vain once)
Maybe a cruise ship worker? But, as what? A maid? No thanks. I can’t even keep my own room tidy.
After high school, and with these dreams already fading memories, I entered college as an undeclared. I had no desire to be there, or what I would study seriously and then work at until retirement. Toward the end of my second YEAR, a sweet girl asked a surprisingly simple question: What is it you like doing most?
Seriously, it was one of the first light bulb moments I experienced. They’re always soon followed by copious amounts of embarrassment, too. “Duh, gee, um, why didn’t I think of that?” (in as dorky a voice as you like to fake)
So, WRITING hit me like cold water in the face and I signed up for all these wonderful classes meant to steer me in the right direction. However, the one thing holding me back, and why I had no interest in higher learning, was math. I wasn’t able to pass algebra to obtain a degree.
I began to realize that God gave so many other people natural abilities, or talent, that led them rather easily through to their career goals. And, yes, some had to work a bit harder to obtain those goals, I know. Still, I’m not gifted with talent. I’m just a person.
I stumbled into teaching after my divorce, and it wasn’t anything note-worthy. The church’s tiny school needed a parishioner for their kindergarten program and I was desperate to keep from ending up in a homeless shelter, so I volunteered. Eight years later, seven of which I spent teaching third grade, the school folded due to varying circumstances.
I went back to college thinking I might just be smart enough now to beat this algebraic mental block, but no such luck. The more I studied, the worse it got until I was ‘asked’ to drop and avoid an F. So, I did. I don’t have any money to go back now and get the degree, either. The degree is not within my reach anyhow, so it’s not a big deal for me.
I give up.
So, here I am today, aspiring to be a writer again. Not world-class, super-author anything, but just a writer who would like to sell anything for at least .99c but not free. Free is what I’m living on right now, and it’s not cutting it.