Thursday, March 19, 2009

Late bloomers

All my life I've been one of those people that always knows what they want and goes after it. I have no problem chasing my dreams. What I do wonder about are late dreams. The kind of things you discover as you get older and wish you had desired earlier.

I've had a few of these...

Art teacher - A few years ago I found myself wishing I could go back to school to become an elementary art teacher or even teaching private art lessons for kids.

Writer - This one is pretty obvious being this is a blog about me being a new writer. I of course wish I'd been able to major in English or something of the sort in college.

Again these are wishes not actual regrets. I was a different person back then and I wasn't ready for these dreams. There's a reason we discover new goals and passions as we get older. We change and because we change, we find new pieces that make up who we've become. It does no good to dwell on what might have been. If I really really wanted to, I could go back to school and become a teacher or learn how to finally spell receive right the first time and maybe even become a better writer. But I really really cannot imagine investing the time or money in that at this stage of life. I'm turning 30 next month, which leaves me with plenty of time to pursue those sort of things but I think I'll find my way without school. (funny how my what ifs have to do with college majors!)

I admire people that find that one true calling at an early age and live almost their entire lives doing that one thing. I thought I was that person when I started art classes in elementary school. I took private lessons for about 10 years and knew it was my destiny, or so I thought back then.
I majored in art in college and then came a big surprise. I found visual merchandising, which is dressing mannequins, creating display windows, that sort of thing. I went back to school for that and felt it was again my destiny. I had am amazing seven years with a company that brought my incredible relationships and a successful and rewarding career.

In comes writing. When I quit my job to become a full time Mommy I really had no idea what was next aside from being a mother. I am an ambitious person but I was content to be with my son for the most part. Out of nowhere I found this intense desire to write. It literally happened overnight. I read a book and woke up the next day knowing I needed to write a book of my own.

So after two awesome so-called "this is my destiny" experiences I can safely tell you why writing is different. It's been about 9 months since I started and in that time I've completed a 92,000 word novel and have started four more. Like many people I get all excited about starting something new and get into it then the excitement sadly fades. Not this time. I love to write and I have not had the slightest bit of desire to stop. My passion hasn't faded. When I was an artist full time (taking classes etc.) I would go through phases and have to really push myself to finish things and many times I didn't even do that. I have a lot of half done paintings out there!

To bring this back the whole late bloomer idea. I believe there are things we are meant to find later in life. And though I'm still in the early stages of mine, I can see why I found writing later. The experiences I've had have shaped me into a writer. The books I've read, the people I've met, the jobs I've held, becoming a mother, living all over the country...and much more. The point is though we might wish we have found something (or someone!) earlier in life it's good to stop and see that it wasn't meant to be that way. If I hadn't done the things I'd done earlier I might not have ever found my love for writing. It's interesting to think of it like that.

I wonder what other joys I'll find down the road. I was the girl who only had vodka and Doritos at my apartments when I was single and today I love to cook and take on all sorts of new recipes. I adore taking picture of both people and nature, especially clouds and sunsets. So who knows maybe I'll end up as a gourmet chef who takes pictures of people eating my food in front of sunsets so I can write about them after doing a painting of the whole damn thing and creating display in a store of it all. Oh and of course I'd have to teach a class to kids on how to draw that wouldn't I?


beth said...

I'm an English teacher as well as a writer, and I've got to say...sometimes teaching your passion can suck the passion right out of you. I have often wondered if I would be a better writer if I didn't have to teach's like the story of the professional chef who is so sick of cooking that he never cooks at home for his own family. On the other hand, though, I've learned a lot from my students as well...

Sara Tribble said...

Becky I agree with you 100%! I must say I am happy where I am in my life, I have never had a chance to just sit back and do what I want all day and for more than a few days! Before writing a book was just on my to do list in life and I had all the time to do it but now I can cross it off the list and continue on with writing and move on to another thing, which will probably be skydiving! We all get our calling and different ones at certain points in our life all we can do is try to fulfill the calling and in the meantime enjoy the ride!