(I worked all 14 brain cells that the children have let me keep. I can only come up with nine.)
1. For sure and for certain, I was going to be a Publisher's Clearinghouse Million Dollar Sweepstakes winner. They were going to show up at my door with the balloons and the microphone in my face and the big check that would change my life. I pictured myself yelling and screaming and making a right scene, so they would show it on TV every year. There was no purchase necessary, so I filled out every entry form that came into our house. Update: Yeah, it didn't happen. I'm guessing my mom never actually mailed my entry forms. Otherwise, I'd be sitting in my mansion right next to those Beverly Hillbillies right about now.
2. I was going to run in the Olympics. When I was a kid, we played tag at recess all the time. Even the boys couldn't catch me. In gym class, we would have races, and only one boy could beat me. In 6th grade, we had to draw a picture of what we were going to be when we grew up. I drew a picture of myself running for the United States. Once in 7th grade I was finally old enough to run on a track team. Turns out, I was pretty fast. Update: I was fast enough to run on a scholarship in college. I was not even close to fast enough to run in the Olympics.
3. I was going to work with Jacques Cousteau. I have always been fascinated by sea creatures. They are just beautiful and so mysterious to me. I was going to get a job working with the king of all marine biologists in order to see these animals up close and personal. In my mind, the fact that I was scared of sharks even in the 12 foot deep end of a pool and had no intentions of actually scuba diving ever in my life did not preclude me from getting said job. Update: Unfortunately, dear Jacques passed away before I could realize my dream. On our honeymoon in 1994 (three years before Jacques died) I tried my hand at snorkeling. Let's just say that if Jacques could have seen me, he would have been very disappointed in his new hire.
4. I was also going to be a famous artist. Do you remember the art contest forms that would come in the mail or be stuffed in magazines? You would have to draw a picture of a turtle usually, and send it in for serious official artists to critique. I totally drew my turtle and mailed it in. Several weeks (or months. I don't know exactly.) later, I got word. I HAD POTENTIAL!!! I was invited to participate in some through-the-mail drawing lessons! I was on the verge of hitting it big. Until, once again, my parents stomped on my dream. They informed me that the lessons were a scam, and that I most certainly was not going to pay for drawing lessons through the mail. Update: I never took drawing lessons. Turns out, I didn't need to. I draw quite well without them, and have talent enough to draw anything to a degree that a small child can at least recognize what I am trying to draw.
4. From the time I was in 2nd grade I wanted to be a teacher. It never varied. I could do lots of things on the side, but leading a classroom full of kids was where I wanted to be. Update: It is the one thing I actually accomplished. And I love it.
5. I was going to be Jewish. Or at least the best Catholic fake Jew I could be. Our neighbors were Jewish, and I spent a whole lot of time babysitting their children. I frequently spent time at their house even when I wasn't babysitting, as the mom was just a fun, interesting lady. She taught me Hebrew, she let me participate in their Jewish traditions, she took me to the local Jewish Community Center. Plus, they always had Jello Fudgepops in the freezer. I loved those things. If it meant being Jewish to have them, by golly I was going to be Jewish. Update: I'm not Jewish.
6. I always wanted to have a whole mess of kids, but never did I want to give birth. I told everyone that there were plenty of kids in this world who needed a home, and I would give it to them. 12 of them in fact. No need for me to go through the pain of childbirth if I didn't have to. Update: Gave birth six times. Hubby doesn't agree on my idea of birthing six and adopting six. The birthed six have about done him in.
7. I must have wanted to be an old lady. I did old lady things way before my time. At the age of 12 or so I took a Jazzercise class with a whole room full of old women. I took the sign language class at the library, and I was the only person there under the age of 40. I took a basket weaving class for crying out loud. I don't know if the class took place in an actual nursing home, but I was most certainly the only one in the class without grey hair and wrinkled hands. Update: I have finally reached my goal. I am old.
8. I was going to be a computer programmer. When I was in 7th grade, our school got its first computer, and it was put in my classroom. They changed out the wood door to the room and replaced it with a metal security door. That's how big of a deal that computer was at the time. I gave up having friends and became the computer geek on the spot. I wrote all sorts of programs and saved them to my floppy disk. I could make the screen go from green to blue to yellow to a picture of an American flag. Totally impressive stuff. I loved working with that computer, and thought for sure it was going to be a big part of my life. In high school, I was still hopeful. I took a computer class and wrote more programs. I even made my own phone book of sorts. Can we say "big leagues"? Update: I am the least computer savvy person that you know. Not that long ago, I completely disgusted my sister when she said, "I'll Google it." and I said, "What's a google?"
9. I was going to be pet-free for my entire life. We had a whole string of pets when I was a kid. Countless dogs, a cat, gerbils, a bird, even a duck for a while. Through it all, I learned that I don't like animals. Especially dogs. They scared the pants off me. I even thought about telling my future children that I was allergic to animals in order to not have to fight that battle. Update: I fell in love with a house that happened to come with chickens. I now have lots of animals. Including two dogs. I don't hate them. Except when they eat my chickens or tear up our car. At those times, I don't really like them all that much.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Have a lovely day!