The quest to decide what I will be when I grow up soldiers on, now arriving at college.
I went into school undecided (which I recommend for everyone who hasn’t maintained a consistent career goal from the time they were four), but by the end of freshman year, I had come to a decision. Ultimately I chose with my heart, majoring in history and minoring in theater. The difficulty in getting a job in either of those fields paled in comparison to my interest.
Once again, it came down to the stories. In my history classes I learned the many ways to research people and events of the past. I was afforded the opportunity to study the daily acts of ordinary heroism and villainy that the past is made up of. And in theater, I found new ways to present the story to an audience. Perhaps, most importantly to me, in both programs I continued to be presented with occasions to improve my writing.
One of my favorite internships came along in grad school and allowed me to utilize all the different things I had learned up until that point. I wrote for just under six months for a blog called The Long Recall, which sadly is no longer run. Every day we posted real time information on the Civil War, written as though it was 1861. And it was awesome.
I got to spend hours and hours going back through old newspapers and coming up with the news for the day. I had to remember how to write news instead of papers, so I rummaged through the Mary Poppins bag of my life and pulled out my old newspaperwoman hat. I wrote about everything I could find on day to day life, from the war to new fashions to animal care to entertainment (including clowns!), all the while having to find common threads so that a larger story came together as the audience read multiple posts. Every one of my former dream jobs came in handy. And all the past-me’s felt quite vindicated.
As for what I will actually be when I grow up? Not really sure yet. But I know I’ll keep writing until the very end. Everything else is just a bonus.
All right, now that I’ve blathered on for four days about what I wanted to be when I grew up, how about you? Did you know right away or were there some pit stops before your final destination?
Check back in tomorrow for this month’s Bad Movie/Good Party Theme!