In second grade, our teacher had us write books and the class mothers laminated them. It was all very exciting.
The first book we wrote was an “About Me” story. In addition to talking about who we were then, we were also asked to include where we saw ourselves in the future.
By this point, I was on a different career trajectory than that of pre-school me. Clowning was out. Animals were in.
My future dreams were very specific. I was going to be a veterinarian, an author, and have hair down to my ankles. Life would be ideal.
Well, as it turns out, despite my love of animals, I have neither a natural talent for, nor an interest in, the study of medicine. Or science in general. So, it was a little difficult to further this goal.
Sure, I still worked with animals. I relocated my cat and the six kittens she had under the bed, without our prior knowledge that she was pregnant, from the guest room to my room. I assisted in training the family dog in circus performance. I learned that keeping the plastic bowl that housed the carnival-won goldfish on the radiator was detrimental to the fish’s ability to live. I got my exercise chasing our runaway dogs out of the backyards of neighbors. I changed the sheets when I woke up to find that the puppy, who I had foolishly fallen asleep next to, had wet the bed. The same puppy who had simultaneously wet and vomited on me earlier in our relationship. (He and I had words.) And I participated in the truly moving funeral of a bird my sister, some friends, and I found in the backyard.
So, no, I never saved the lives or improved the health of any animals. But I did let every dog we ever owned take up more room on the bed than I. So, that’s something, at least.
Also, tried growing out my hair. Didn’t suit me (as any picture from high school can prove. I looked like a lion).
Two dreams that didn’t quite make the cut. But second grade me didn’t completely miss the boat on future predictions. The dream of writing? That one stuck around.