Thursday, September 27, 2012

Memories of Fall

The end of summer is usually a bit sad for me because I love the hot summer days. I hate to admit it, but I kind of like fall, too, but I don't like what comes after it. I think each change of season has it own special magic. Especially, this year, I was over the extreme heat that we had to endure and was ready for something a little cooler.

My favorite thing about fall is the changing of the leaves. I grew up in the small town of Ortonville in Michigan. My favorite thing about fall is walking down Hummer Lake Road and just admiring the awning of leaves that formed an archway over the dirt road. Ever since I moved away from home twenty years ago, I think about that scene and how I wish I had photographed it. I can still smell the leaves and see the beautiful red, gold and orange leaves. Every year, I think about going up there just to take that picture, but haven't made it at the right time.

As I think about the leaves, I can smell the bonfires in my dad's backyard on a chilly fall evening and I'd love to be cuddled up in my favorite hoodie, watching the flames and listening to the wood crackle.  I could watch the fire for hours and maybe even enjoy a little hot cider as my hands got colder. That sweet cider would sure taste good right now.

Then I remember the hayrides. I had a friend who's birthday was in October and I remember her dad hooking up the trailer to the tractor and all of us riding around those dirt roads, occasionally one of us would hop off to stuff some of that hay into a mailbox, just a little surprise for the neighbors the next morning to let them know that we'd been there.

I miss the high school football games and watching my best friend Christy cheering and hanging out with friends afterwards or maybe going to a school dance. As I got older, it was cruising in my old LeBaron down M-15. So many memories of those time, but as all the leaves fell and made way for the cold winds of winter, those found memories came to an end. That's okay though, there's chances for new memories every year.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What Do I Want to be When I Grow Up?

We always ask children the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" You hear a variety of answers from doctor to policeman to teacher or in the case of my daughter, when she was 3, "the wicked witch of the east." She was a little obsessed with the "Wizard of Oz."

Then there is me, for years, I wanted to be a teacher. I went to college to become a teacher and all I'm missing is my student teaching. I did substitute for a time, but teaching wasn't my true career destiny. Truthfully, it took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I'm now 41-years-old and I do know, but I'm just trying to figure out how to accomplish this.

I've never been known as a person who had clear direction in life. I went through multiple majors in college and finally settled on an English major because reading and writing is are my first loves. I loved being an English major and submersed myself in the classics and long term papers.  Then came my senior year and I'm also very pregnant with my oldest child at this point and still don't know what I want for my career. I am sitting in my adviser's office and I say to him, "So I'm graduating soon with this English degree, what I am I going to do with it?" He simply said, "I don't know, I've been here for twenty years." Oh, that helps! That was nearly fourteen years ago.

Here's what I've done since that day, I've been a manager of marketing communications, administrative assistant, desktop publisher, substitute teacher and daycare provider. My Facebook page says that I'm a freelance writer and editor. That is what I want to do, that's been my career ambition. That is my passion, my love, my life. That is what I want to be when I grow up.

Here's the major do I get those jobs and be paid for them. I'm not independently wealthy and I can't work for free, that's for sure. My confidence is the other issue. I know I'm a good writer, but good isn't good enough, I need to be a great writer. I am my harshest critic and my own worst enemy. I can't let this stop me. I have a family to provide for and if I want to make a go of this, I can't let it stop me.

So here is my public commitment. I will write one blog, article, something per day and submit it in an attempt to begin this career. This has to happen and I'm the only person that can make it happen.