"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." Dr. Seuss
ROBERTA: Having sat through two family graduations in the past week, I've got aspirations on the brain. My sister and I were talking about what we remember wanting to become back when we were kids. She has very distinct memories of wanting to be a park ranger, and later on, a veterinarian. (Instead, she's a nature writer and environmental activist.) I can't recall having a clear passion as a kid--other than doing really well in school. (Nerd City, I know.) Never in a million years would I have predicted becoming either a psychologist or a writer--though they both kind of make sense looking back.
How about you all--how early did you "know what you know?"
ROSEMARY: I still don't know what I want to be.
HALLIE: I always knew what I wanted to be. A torch singer. Slinky black dress, dark eyes, deep soulful alto. I was under-endowed in more ways than one.
JULIA: I can recall donning my turtleneck and pleated plaid miniskirt to play stewardess when I was ten years old. That was my first career ambition, fueled by Pan Am flights and sneaking my mom's copy of COFFEE, TEA, OR ME? Then when I was twelve, I read the first few James Herriot novels, and was determined to be a vet. That lasted until I cracked open F. Lee Bailey's FOR THE DEFENSE. That made me want to be a lawyer (which I eventually did after side trips into acting, museum curatorship, and fund-raising.) The only careers I wanted to pursue were things I read about in books. That was probably a tip-off right there.
ROBERTA: Well, okay, torch singer, me too Hallie. In fact my father always hoped one of his daughters would end up singing on a piano, like Edith Piaf. Zero for three:).
ROSEMARY: That's it...I want to be a torch singer, too. I want to do everything Hallie and Roberta do. Do you all know that Donald Bain, the author of 37 Murder She Wrote books also wrote COFFEE, TEA or ME?
JAN: This is how boring I am. I decided I wanted to be writer in first grade -- which, when you think of it, is when you learn to write. So I picked pretty much the first thing that came up and stuck with it. Having been in my junior high school musicals, and I later toyed with the idea of being a an actress and singer - but -- even before People Magazine, knew I didn't want to lead that kind of exciting life. (That's how boring I am.)
HANK: Oh, gosh. Me, too. I used to practice singing "WHy dont you Come along with me, down the Mississippi...". Oh, and Stormy Weather. Very big on Stormy Weather. (Very small on singing talent.)
I wanted to be a stewardess, too! What cool job.
My goals, after stewardess: disc jockey, geneticist,Shakespeare teacher, actress, lawyer for the mine workers, political activist. Reporter. Ooh, reporter was good. Very good. That seemed to take. At age---25? And now...
DEB: Oh, gosh, what did I want to be, other than English? Just about everything imaginable except a writer . . . I always loved reading but only discovered I liked writing as a teenager. Julia, I wanted to be a vet, too--I was SO smitten with James Herriott (actually got to meet him and get books signed!) And I wanted to be an Oxford don, like CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. Then a female jockey (influenced by Dick Francis, anyone?) And an historian. Um, and a geologist. And an archeologist. And an oceanologist. Just about anything with an "ist." No surprise that my undergrad degree was in biology and I wanted to be a field biologist. I later thought about writing a mystery series about a female park ranger, but someone beat me to it :-)
ROSEMARY: I love that you wanted to be English.
HALLIE: Oooh, great question - what would you want to be other than American? French. Definitely French. Can those women knot scarves or what?
ROBERTA: Me too, French! Deb, you are almost English, aren't you? How about you, JR readers? Who did you want to be?