Monday, July 5, 2010

When You Were Eighteen



My daughter was home this weekend and decided to clean out her dresser, which was still stuffed with her high school things. She came across an essay she’d written for a senior high class assignment asking her to write about where she’d be in twenty years.

She’s just three years out of college, so she has a way to go before she’ll know how accurate her predictions are, but she was amazingly dead on so far. However, she doubts she’ll ever move to New York, produce a Broadway play, and marry a stockbroker. That’s not her plan now, but it was her dream back then.

When I was eighteen, I knew I was going to be an elementary teacher, and that’s what I became. It had been my dream since second grade. I taught for six years before stopping to have children, and loved every single moment of it. Yet had someone asked me to predict what I’d be in twenty years, there is no way I would have ever said I’d be a published author. I hated writing assignments in school. Yet here I am in a career I love.

What about you? What were your dreams at eighteen? How close did you come to achieving them? Are there still dreams you’d like to pursue?

Happy Fourth of July and God Bless our Freedom of the Press!

Kate

15 comments:

Andrea C. said...

As a little girl I had lots of dreams, but before I graduated high school I knew I wanted to be an English teacher...and I have been doing that for 12 years. I have loved reading and books my entire life and no matter what I do I think my career will have something to do with books! :)

Dru said...

My dream was to be the first in my family to graduate from college, own my own place and become a lawyer. Two out of three isn't bad.

Tonya Kappes said...

I did know what I wanted to do by 18. A teacher, and I pursued my career goals and ended up teaching going back to school for masters and then antoher degree in early intervention therapy! NOW a writer!! LOL...My son is in his senior year in high school and it drives me crazy b/c he has NO clue what he wants to do. Of course he will say 'listen if you would've taken your time, you might've just been a writer.' Kids today are so different...but it's good.

Sheila Connolly said...

I was going to be a research biologist--that plan lasted about a year in college. I still think I should have been an archeologist. Or maybe an art forger. Maybe in my next life (my grandmother firmly believed in reincarnation, and who's to say she's wrong?)

Katie said...

when I was 18, I had already finished my first year of college. I was studying athletic training and toying with the idea of changing my major to nursing but decided not to. here I am 9 years later going back to school for nursing.

Laineshots said...

When I was 18, my dream was to be a photographer. I didn't start to achieve it until 2 1/2 years ago.

It's easy to let dreams become a habit, and forget to really pursue them.

Rural View said...

When I was 18 I was graduating from prep school and didn't want to leave. I wanted to be a lawyer but turns out I don't think like a lawyer. I also wanted to be a successful writer. Well, I'm a writer but the HUGE success I dreamed of never happened. I never would have considered that I would end up married to a great guy and living in a rural area of Pennsylvania.

Kate Collins said...

Kids today are definitely different. They don't seem to have fixed goals, and often just a vague idea of what they'd like to do. Pursuing a dream does take work to turn it into a goal. Goals have a time frame. Dreams can go on forever.
Oh, Sheila, yes! Be that art forger, girl. Just think of the stories you could write then. (As though you needed more ideas, right?)
Dru, two down, one to go. Hey, you've got a lot of years ahead of you. Who knows? Look how many of us start out in one thing and end up in something else entirely.
I wonder how many people eventually go back to what they really wanted to be.

signlady217 said...

I knew in jr. high that I wanted to be a math teacher, and that's what I did. Also have done a lot of tutoring in English and several other subjects as well.

I love history and still want to go on an archeology dig. Maybe someday.

Never wanted to have anything to do with the medical field. Yuck! Can't deal with the smells. but now I am taking an online class to become a medical transcriptionist. (At least I won't have to deal with the chemical smells with that!) I am really emjoying it, too, but I have always liked the learning part. It's the "what do I do now afterwards" part that gets me! :)

Aimee said...

At 18 I was planning to graduatie from college and head to the FBI Academy (later to be dashed as I could not meet the sight requirements) but at 8 I just KNEW I was going to be Nancy Drew for a living. My little heart was broken when my mother (never much of a warm fuzzy person) took great pains to gently explain to me that Nancy Drew was sadly not a job.

Stacey Pagan said...

When I was 18 I was finishing up my first year at Ball State as a business ed major. During my sophomore year I changed it to English ed. Transferred later and received my degree in secondary ed (English) with an endorsement in computers, picked up a medical transcription degree, and then my MBA. However, in '08 when I finished my degree the economy was totally tanked out. In '09 I closed my home daycare (never in a million years did I think I'd be a daycare provider) after 7 years and started doing para-professional work, which lead to English tutoring, which is what I'm doing now. It's not my career goal, but until the economy flips, it's what I'm doing.

Babs said...

When I was 18 I was in college studying to be an Archaeologist until GOD had other plans. I got Cancer and headed back home to my parents. Then I started helping kids that have cancer which I still do. The other parts of my dreams back then have come true I have 3 wonderful boys and a great husband I can't ask for anything better. I still have a dream to go to England and Egypt I would love to see some of the famous digs they have.
No wonder I love Elizabeth Peters :).

Now I want to be an author that is my one last dream. If it happens it does if not at least I tried :).

Kate Collins said...

The secret to following your dream is to not think about failing. Don't think about the odds. Just go for it. You will always regret not trying. You will never regret trying because you will learn something new, meet people you never would have met otherwise, and experience life in a new way. As I tell my kids, there is no wrong path.
(Boy, do I sound like my character Grace!) Anyway, I'm glad I pursued my dream to become an author. Even if I'd never sold a book, what a great bunch of writers I've met over the years.

Sherry Lewis said...

I wanted to be a world famous author. In fact, it's the only thing I ever wanted to be. I've achieved the author part, but the world-famous bit? Guess that depends on what world we're talking about? LOL

Kate Collins said...

Sherry, clearly we need to create our own happy little worlds where we reign supreme as the world-famous... Queen of our domains?