Thursday, March 22, 2012

What I could have been

if only, sometimes, in my mind. I have always been sort of imaginative.  I spent a large portion of my early childhood imagining/creating something or another. 

From the time that I was in 2nd grade until I was in 6th grade, I came home for lunch from school on most days, and so I'd run the whole 4 blocks from school to home.  (In retrospect, I don't know that I'd let my child leave school and be unattended for even 4 blocks, but it was the 70s.) Anyway, most of the time, I'd imagine that I was an Olympic track star running a race, and I'd always come in first.  (I did run track in high school, and long distances when I was in my early 20s, but I never approached Olympic levels.)

My other favorite thing was to pretend that I was actually a witch.  You have to remember that I was a child of 70s, and so Bewitched (and I Dream of Jeannie) were in reruns after school, so when I imagined being a witch, I imagined being a kid version of Samantha.  I'd look at a leaf and whisper for it to move, and most of the time, just like magic, the wind would carry the leaf off somewhere.  I could make birds fly from trees too pretty often.  :)

I was also very into creating musical numbers.  I was forever putting my parents LPs on the stereo and making up my own choreography.  I was brilliant, I tell you.  :) I was even able to come up with an amazing routine for the Disney Winnie The Pooh record we had.  I was also in tap and ballet at the time, and would sometimes make up MUCH more interesting choreography (in my head) than my dance teacher made for our routines.  My teacher didn't quite appreciate it when I wasn't paying attention because I was too busy thinking of my own routines.  Or worse, when I would start dancing my routines instead.

And then, of course, there was my writing.  I spent HOURS and HOURS of my child writing.  I'd write poems and stories mostly.  Sometimes I'd write lyrics for a song and since I was in piano, well, OF COURSE, I wrote the music too.  My writing did get noticed by the adults in my world.  I am sure it was just simple, sweet kid stuff, but some teachers did think that I was pretty talented way back then.  I won several awards in school for my writing when I was a child.  My parents told their friends about what a good writer I was, and so now, I still get them asking "Are you still writing? You were so good (when you were 6!)" Of course, none of these same adults, and slightly less so with my parents, really considered my technical writing actually "writing."  They just thought that I was a computer expert (which I wasn't.  Well, maybe a just little bit more than the average person, but that was because I started doing computer documentation back in the early 90s.)

And then there was science.  I loved to write and I loved to read, but what really got me going was SCIENCE.  I loved everything about it.  I loved learning about it.  I loved talking about it.  I loved doing it.  And then when I went to junior high and high school, I took every course that I could that related to science.  As soon as I knew what a microbiologist was, I decided that that is what I wanted to do when I grew up.  (I did, actually, start college with my degree as microbiology. But Organic Chemistry 2 did me in.  I just couldn't seem to quite understand it and since I'd rather change my major than fail, switch I did.  Of course, not to English right off.  That would have been too easy. :) )

But teaching? Being a Mom? Training? Creating a business? Yea, I don't remember EVER imagining those things.  Not even the mom thing.  I was not exactly a girly-girl.  My older brother was 18 months older than me, and my younger sister didn't come along for 4 years after I was born, so my and my brother hung out all the time when we were kids.  I was way more into STP cars than I was into dolls.  And by the time I was in my early 20s, I figured that I was going to just have a career; not get married, and not have kids.  I did briefly entertain becoming a high school English teacher when I was in college, and I went to my student teaching orientation meeting, where we sat in on an English class, and that was enough for me to decide that I didn't want to teach.  And my dad was the one who created a business.  That wouldn't be what I would do.

I am glad (and it is probably for the best too!) that I didn't end up any of the things that I imagined as a child.  What I have been in the past 20 years really feels what is RIGHT for me.  It feels like it fits.  Teaching, training, technical writing, being a mom.  All those things make me smile.  Well, most of the time.  Although, it is too bad that you couldn't have seen my moves back in the day. Or not.  :)

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