Tag Archives: dreams

What do you want to be, when you grow up?

Happy Labor Day to my American visitors! Show of hands, how many people are working today?

Today’s holiday got me thinking about that age old question, “What do you want to be, when you grow up?”

I'm too busy relaxin' out here to think about a career in 20 years...

We ask children that before they can even read. We ask that of each other as adults, half joking, half knowing that chances are, we’ll all have more than one career in our lifetimes.

When I was growing up, I wanted to be a teacher. That was my answer, without hesitation, when someone would ask me that question. I hit second grade, and I loved my teacher so much that I decided I wanted to be a second grade teacher!

I loved that year of school. Amusingly, when you consider how much I hate math today, my favorite subject that year was math. My teacher made it fun with Wanda Ones, Tommy Tens and Harry Hundreds. We earned ourselves a banana split day through our successes (something that would be horribly, horribly frowned upon with our striving to “eat healthier” in school) and however many challenges we successfully completed decided how many toppings we had on our banana splits. Some of my classmates hardly had a banana and a couple scoops of ice cream. Others had every topping we could get. (I was in the later group. SCORE!)

My teacher found fun ways to motivate us to work and to make things stick with us. I loved her. I wanted to be her.

This want stayed strong in me until high school. In 8th grade, we had to sign up for our Freshmen classes. Certain ones were a given, but I ended up with one more elective to fill. A couple girlfriends and I signed up for Journalism. I figured, “Oh that sounds like an easy A!”

It was.

Working hard on getting senior portraits for the yearbook...

But not because it wasn’t a challenge! I had plenty of classmates barely get through that class at all. No, it was an easy A because I fell in love with it. Those hearts I had in my eyes for my second grade teacher turned towards journalism. I loved it. I found my niche! It made sense to me. I won contests in it, and that simply seemed to validate this new love I had found.

I proceeded from that year to throw myself into journalism. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go in the field, I just knew I wanted to be a part of it. So when I went into college, I took both print and broadcast journalism classes. I was so undecided what I wanted to do!

In hindsight, I wish I’d paid more attention in certain classes, because their lessons would benefit me more today. I wish I’d known then that my focus would some day be working freelance. But instead, I tried to just be a sponge and soak up a little bit of everything. I really wasn’t entirely sure where I was going, still. Just Journalism.

I eventually did get a job in journalism — at a weekly paper in Central Texas. It taught me a lot. Ironically it it taught me less about my strengths and more about my weaknesses. It showed me where I needed to improve. (For that, I am grateful! It ultimately showed me where I wasn’t supposed to be after all.)

Just another day on the job...

One of my biggest, “Can I get that day back to redo it?” moments was a day I went to interview a soldier home on leave. I didn’t know what questions to ask! And it didn’t help that I got the feeling he wasn’t that interested in being interviewed, so every question I asked received very short answers. I found myself trying to lead him to tell me what I wanted to hear for a story. I really, really wish I could go back and redo that one. My biggest failure in interviewing.

Just as it showed me places I was weak, that job also showed me an ignored love. A digital camera landed in my hands for the first time, and I found myself wanting to take some great photos. Some were appreciated. Others weren’t. I found myself remembering how much I’d wanted to take photography in high school, but it never fit in my schedule. It ended up off my radar in college. And with that digital camera in my hand, I found myself wanting to push myself.

While it was a few years after that before I started to go, “Hey, I’m pretty good at this!” I still look back on some of the shots I took while at the newspaper with appreciation.

Today, I want to be a published author. I want to write. I want to take pictures. I also have a love for listening and helping people. And I’m finding I’m pretty good at planning parties. I want to start a family, too. I have so many options still ahead of me for “what I want to be, when I grow up.” And you know what? That’s pretty cool. It’s not just little kids who have the world wide open to them. It’s each and every one of us.

So tell me…

What do you want to be, when YOU grow up?

Writing talents I don’t possess

293: Writer's Night
Songwriters Matt Willis and Rick Tiger

Yesterday, I went to a writer’s night to see a couple friends perform their songs. I’ve attended other writer’s nights, but last night… last night was just something special for me.

I sat down, and I listened. Really listened. Oh okay, I snapped a few photos, but I was there to be a spectator, not a photographer. My husband commented that I had a smile on my face the whole time.

For me, it was not just about the music, it was about watching these people living their dreams. Writing their songs and performing for people who want to hear them. I was so proud of my friends. So happy for them!

And… I was in awe.

See, when someone asks me what I do, I used to respond, “I’m a writer!”

I don’t do that any more. Not that I’m not a writer (blogger), but when you say “writer” in Nashville, people think you are a songwriter. And, hey, its an easy and logical assessment! Music city. Writer. Music. Songs. Songwriter. Makes sense.

But, alas, no. I am no songwriter. In fact, I am in awe of songwriters. I admire their abilities to convey such emotion through their words. I admire their ability to tell a whole story in a few verses and a chorus. I admire their ability to take a throw away hook and turn it into a work of art.

I write, but I can’t craft a song. I don’t even do (serious) poetry. I might write the random limerick or haiku for humor-sake. Perhaps a cute little rhyme here and there. But past that? I leave the song writing to the professionals. I admire their talents. I respect them. And I sincerely wish them all the success in the world doing it.