23 April 2010

When I grow up...


I've been thinking about career choices a lot lately. We have three teenagers -- one about to graduate high school; another will graduate next summer; and the third, a ninth-grader, is bouncing back and forth regarding job choices and future hs courses.

Personally, I think figuring it all out between ages 15-19 is too much to ask. We change so much after those years, how can we possibly know what we want to do "forever"?

I went into journalism. I loved to write and thought it would be great to see my name on that by-line. It was. For a while. But I didn't understand about the politics of that particular workplace OR the constant headache of having to one-up the competition. I'm not the most competitive person at heart. I want to go to work; do my job; get my paycheck; and come home again. Simple.

I wish I'd known then that fiction was where I should be. I wish I had been brave enough to really give it a shot... Just imagine where I might have wound up?

However, soon after entering the workforce as an adult, I got married, moved to another state and we decided I would be a SAHM. I loved it. Still do... but now I'm back in the workforce out of necessity more than true desire. My real passion, writing, is my career. Unfortunately, it's not enough to keep both my heart and soul fed. ;)

Now, our oldest has made plans for what to do with her near future. Unfortunately, everything she 'loves' to do and is really super good at, either requires an advanced degree -- at least a master's -- and/or will make her little money in the end. So she goes with an alternative, all the while hoping her true passions will someday pan out. (Yes, she's also a writer. Poor thing. But a very good one.)

Our second oldest has more of direct, no-nonsense plan. I'm impressed, actually. This one knows what school she will attend; which degrees (associates) she will attain and in what order; plus she'll be doing things she's good at and loves. Can't say I was even remotely as organized at her age. Um, at any age, lol.

The others... well, they're all young enough that it's not a true worry, yet. Thank heavens. I think children need to enjoy more and worry a lot less... That's what they have mom and dad for, right? ;)

Me? Well, I know what I want to be when I grow up. I want to be Heather Graham... or Sharon Sala... or Kerrelyn Sparks. (GGGG) Or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

I want to be a great writer. The kind of writer who pulls you in hard and fast and keeps you spellbound until that last page. I want you to feel a little let-down at that point, not because the story ended badly, but simply because it's over. I want to leave you wanting more.

So, I work the day job because I need it, and work at my craft in those spare moments in-between and during my volunteer jobs of: wife, mother, psychologist, chauffeur, nurse, dietitian, cook, laundress, maid, and cheerleader.

When I'm not writing, I'm plotting. When I'm not plotting, I'm day-dreaming of new characters and "What ifs". Other times I'm letting all the people in my head show me what's possible in their world. They always seem to know that world better than I.

What do you want to be... if and when you 'grow up'? ;)
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