I've honestly wanted to be a million things "when I grow up." I remember wanting to be an obstetrician before I could even spell the word because I loved babies and was intrigued by the miracle of birth. When I was little I would often "adopt" babies of every color (one of my favorites was Susan, an Asian baby with beautiful black hair) and play school with them. I made worksheets for them and read them books at their school--my playhouse in the backyard. My brother and I also turned the playhouse into a restaurant from time to time with crayon menus and grass salads; I've always envisioned how much fun it would be to have an Italian restaurant! At one point I thought it would be great to be a lawyer--not sure why but I think it had something to do with my belief that lawyers make big bucks!
In high school economics we had to plan a business and I chose to open a girl's clothing store called Sugar and Spice. One side would be the "sugar" side--decorated sweetly in frilly, girly designs and house clothing of the same style. The other side would be the "spice" side with wilder, bolder decor and clothing. I can still see the whole thing in my head. It would be awesome.
I also developed a love for writing in high school and even was voted Most Talented for it--probably a result of my bid for votes rather than the widespread idea that I was truly that talented. = P I did truly love it though. I joined the staff of our school newspaper and was so happy the semester that I served as editor. One of my close friends and I dreamt of moving to the big city (Manhattan!) and starting a magazine. I still believe that if I could do anything in the world, I'd be a journalist.
My life didn't seem conducive to moving away, seeking a degree, and becoming a big time writer, however. Keeleigh was two years old when I graduated high school and I was in love with a musician who was headed to Nashville. I was absolutely convinced that we were going to get married so I researched what the highest paying, shortest degree program job was. That's how I decided I was going to be a paralegal. Was I crazy? Yes! Did God use it in a way I never imagined? Yes! It turned out that guy that I was head over heels for wasn't "the one." We broke up before we'd even been out of high school a full year. But I was already in the paralegal program and ended up doing an internship at the District Attorney's office then a job at a local attorney's office. It was through the people that I met there that I got involved in church and met Jackie (whom I'd lived 5 minutes from my entire life without ever meeting!). There's more to that story that I'd love to do another post on sometime but for now, back to my career aspirations.
After Jackie and I married, he worked on finishing his bachelor's at Tennessee Temple so I worked and Keeleigh went to school. After he finished there, we knew that God was calling us to New Orleans and I have been very blessed to be able to be a stay-at-home mom and home-school our kids. In a way I've become everything I ever wanted to be. After four babies I found out a lot about obstetrics, I'm still making worksheets and reading to my little ones, I can bake a great pizza, and advocate for the things I believe in every day. I've learned to knit and crochet and am learning to sew clothes; crafts are my number one favorite thing EVER! As for writing, well, I've got this blog (And ideas. Lots and lots of ideas.). Maybe not many people read it but it's a great outlet for me and there have been a few people tell me they enjoy it. I never did (and probably won't ever) make big bucks but I love that my life is so full of diverse activities and that I'm learning to just go for it when there's something new I want to try. How many people get to say that they have everything they've ever wanted?
That leads to me to the next big idea I've had. Earlier this week we visited a sort of dude ranch geared towards kids. They had a corn maze, a petting zoo, and other great activities. They lived and worked on an absolutely gorgeous piece of land. Cattle, horses, and other animals grazed on acres of green pastures. Chickens ran free, the sound of laughter and the sweet smell of hay straw was never far off, and big ponds reflected blue skies. Something inside me sighed. I could totally do this, I thought. Jackie wasn't quite as enthralled with the idea as I was and I'm not sure that we'll have anything as large-scale as the place that we visited but I definitely see a goat in our future. = )
Wide open spaces! That's what I'm longing for right now!