When I Grow Up
A friend once told me “the first thing you want to be when you grow up is actually what you’re supposed to grow up to be.” Obviously, this isn’t based on fact, because if it was, my friend is meant to be a crossing guard. However, I still think the concept has some validity, because the very first thing I wanted to be was a writer.
I don’t exactly remember what sparked this idea or what “aha moment” made me think “yes, I’m going to write stories.” Writing was just always there, lurking in the background and repeatedly showing up in my life until I finally caught on.
I read stories like most little kids, but it wasn’t like I was book obsessed, carrying one around like a teddy bear. I did however, always have a composition book with me. What began as a series of sticker books turned into something more without my realization. I recall filling my pages with stories about fairies and princesses and horses. I drew pictures and gave my characters worlds created from my untouched childhood imagination.
I kept up with these composition books throughout the years, and they slowly morphed into journals. I began to write down my daily happenings:
“I have not written in this thing in a while. Anyway today I had oat bran for breakfast and then I played Wii” (April 3rd, 2009)
… Profound, I know.
But little by little my writing expanded to match my growing mindset. All throughout middle and high school, I kept my journals a secret. I feared that people knowing would somehow make me look uncool.
My habit for journaling only grew as I entered college. I found myself meeting people who all shared this same love and appreciation for writing. This helped me come out of my shell.
In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m pretty vocal about this part of my life. I blog about it, I post pictures about it—it’s come to be something I’m really proud of.
Looking back at how far I’ve come, I’m reminded of a saying that goes something like this:
“The only way to become a better reader is to read, and the only way to become a better writer is to write.”
I consider myself lucky that I’ve had around 20 years of practice. Writing is one of the only things that’s felt natural to me. Whereas I’ve had to fight other pursuits, writing has always felt easy, and in turn, serendipitous.
Maybe young me knew I had this passion all along, I just had to find my way back. Although I’ve teetered back and forth between different answers to the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I’ve seemed to rediscover that intuitive hunch I had as a child—that I want to be a writer.
(… among some other things, too.)