Tuesday, June 24, 2014

So, Someone Asked Me, "What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?"

When I was four years old, my neighbor, Dolores, who was in 6th grade taught me to read.  After that, I was the teacher whenever we played school, and that included the time when Dolores played with us.  I was always the teacher. 

Of course, I was bossy and made everyone sit there and listen to me.  I even gave the rest of the kids homework, and I would scold them if they didn't do it.  Most of the time, they just laughed at me, since they were older. 

Then, I grew up a little.  When I was in first grade, I wanted to be a "fairy princess."  I remember my mother just smiling at that one.  She said that I could be a fairy princess if I wanted to be one.  Sadly, I never developed wings which seemed to be a requirement for fairy princesses to get around. 

A Tinker Bell I was not, and the last time I tried to fly by jumping off the fence, I broke my arm.  No more wanting to be a fairy princess until much later in life.

In 4th grade, I wanted to become a nun when I grew up.  I didn't like boys yet, so this was a good decision.  I hung around the nuns at school so I could learn from them.  Well, it wasn't to be.  They didn't like me hanging around, and, the next year, I discovered:: boys! 

In 6th grade, we all had our weddings planned.  We knew who would be in our weddings, where we would get married, how many bridesmaids we would have, who would be our maid of honor.  We just didn't know who our husbands would be. 

In high school, we plotted and planned.  We had our guys picked out then, but we knew we had to wait since most of them would be drafted and go to Viet Nam, so we waited.  A few got married, and their weddings were beautiful, but not like we had planned.  Some of us went on to college.  That's where my life changed.

I wanted to be a writer and teach at the college level.  I didn't take any education classes.  I knew I would earn a doctorate.  Like I said, my life changed.  I met my future husband when I was in college.  It took us almost 3 years to get married, and I had graduated by then.  I was writing at night and working in a bank during the day.  He finally proposed and we left my home for good.  We moved to:: North Dakota.  I continued to work in a bank, but now I was busy being a wife, too.  No more writing for a while.

Then we moved to Colorado where I studied to become a court reporter.  I actually worked at that profession for a short time, but we moved to Nebraska, and I was pregnant.  Now, I'm a wife and mother.  I stayed home for 14 years raising my children.  I was lucky to be able to do that.  Then, I knew it was time to go back to school once again.  This time, in less than 2 years, I earned the credits I needed to become a special ed teacher.  After so many years, I was a teacher, but I was still busy with teen aged kids and a husband.  Writing still took the back burner. 

Then life changed again.  The kids grew up and went to college.  It was just the two of us.  I taught and wrote and quilted.  I was published a few times.  This made me happy, but it wasn't a career, so I kept writing.  I wanted to be a writer.  Then life changed in a way I would never have dreamed it would.

My husband died from a cancer called multiple myeloma.  Enough said.  Life was never going to be the same again. 

A year later I retired from teaching.  The day I left, I didn't look back.  It was time!  I'm not sorry I retired.  I doubt that I will ever be tired.  Then, as I struggled with the life of a widow, I found my new passion.  I began to make lampwork glass beads.  It's been nine years, and I've never looked back.  I have loved every minute.  There's always something new to challenge me!  I am also now working in polymer clay.  That's a whole new medium!  I have been published in many publications with both my glass and polymer clay.  So now, it's art.  The right side of my brain is happy!!

What's next?  I don't know.  I'm happy, but I want to learn more.  Who knows.  You know that little girl who wanted to be a nun, well, that's not going to happen, but I'm happy.  The future is yet uncharted.  We shall see.

What do I want to be when I grow up?  I don't know.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

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