growing up

What Did I Want to be Growing Up?

Growing up, I originally wanted to be a teacher. But the writing bug bit me hard in high school when I took a journalism class my sophomore year.

Being a writer wasn’t my intended career goal until then. I had wanted to be a teacher from the time was in elementary school.

What did I want to be growing up?

In third or fourth grade, I played school with my stuffed animals, my dolls, and my younger brother. I lined up my stuffed animals and dolls around the living room and gave them papers I had done and kept.

I taught my brother things he didn’t know yet so he was ahead of his classmates by the time he started kindergarten. The teachers were impressed with what he knew.

About the time I hit sixth grade, I started a diary, keeping track of the high temperature and what I had done that day. The temperature thing came from my teacher who checked the weather every hour on the hour and kept records. Weather did fascinate me, but it wasn’t something I wanted to pursue.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I took a journalism class and truly enjoyed it. The teacher almost always commended me for whatever type of article I had written. I remember how the marching band went to the Kentucky Derby and won the competition. The teacher made that week’s quiz bonus point about the band winning. I beamed from ear to ear when she asked me to say the answer to the class.

My family moved my junior year, but I put on both the newspaper and yearbook staffs for the last two years of high school. I decided to pursue journalism in college and dreamed of going to Indiana University.

How did marching band change my mind?

My thinking about my future career shifted as I took classes at I.U. In the fall of my senior year, I volunteered with the high school marching band, my alumna band. Helping the band made me realize I wanted to be a teacher. Teaching those younger band students what I knew made me feel good about myself.

By the time I graduated from I.U., I had double majored in journalism and criminal justice. However, I turned right around and started education classes. I wasn’t sure pursuing journalism was for me. People weren’t making big money at it unless you moved to a big city and worked for a large newspaper or magazine. And I wasn’t moving. Earning my teaching license became the next best thing.

I spent another two years taking the English and education classes I needed to become a middle and high school English teacher.

So what happened next?

Two years later, I finished my secondary teaching license in English and journalism. I subbed in the local schools, both my hometown and the town where I moved after I married. After the birth of my daughter, I got my first aide job.

Over the last 20 years, I’ve worked mostly as an aide — remediation, special education, and now instructional, but I did teach English for a couple of years at a high school. I loved the job, but the stress in my life took its toll on me. I didn’t do the best job I could have at the time.

I currently work as an instructional aide at an alternative high school in our local school system. I love my job, but I need money to supplement the income.

A couple of years ago, I started my own little publishing company called Beach Girl Publishing. I use it for my own books, both fiction and nonfiction, as well as my freelance writing and editing portfolios. Authors can get resources to help with their writing as well.

In 2017, I’m kicking things in gear. I want to be that full-time writer I wasn’t sure I could be back in college. I want to travel and be freer to do things I want, and writing will give me that freedom.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Are you actually doing what you planned?

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