From pretty much the moment we can formulate an answer, we are asked this question. For some people, this answer never changes – they know what they want to be from day one. And it is impressive. For the rest of us, the answer can be fairly fluid. This week I’m taking a look back at some of my earlier aspirations.
Thanks to all the school work my parents have held on to over the years, I know one thing for sure:
I had a lot of plans when I was a kid.
When I was in pre-school, the teacher handed out a sheet of paper with this timeless question written across the top and we were supposed to draw our answer.
I drew a clown.
I honestly can’t tell you what was going through my head when I made that decision. My best guess is that it had something to do with liking to make people laugh. I was also a bit of ham back then, so I wouldn’t be surprised if when asked this question my thought process was, Hmmm. What would get me the most attention? Ah, yes, the art of clowning. It was either that or, Hehe. Silly clowns. Either way, the irrefutable logic swayed me.
I believe this choice also points to a subtle desire to scare the crap out of people. ‘Cause let’s face it, clowns are a wee bit creepy. (And by “wee bit,” I mean “extremely.” It’s the whole facial cues issue.) I used to love to hide behind things and jump out at people. Thankfully, I eventually kicked that twisted little habit (for the most part. I still get the urge sometimes when I’m around my sister. But I figure, that’s only natural), which is probably why my interest in clowning waned.
This was not a dream with any longevity to it, but it did foreshadow my current approach to writing. If at the end of the day, I’ve put something on the page that can both give the reader a chuckle and the creeps, I feel successful.
By the way, my dream of being a clown totally came true, if a little earlier than I expected. At the age of eleven, I gave the performance of my life as the clown at my sister’s eighth birthday party. I am proud to say that I was both amusing and horrifying (with a slight emphasis on the latter).
So, check that dream off the list.