Did you know what you wanted to be when you were growing up? Did you get to mid way through high school and have firm visions of what your career would be and where it would take you? Did you always have that burning sensation driving you towards your dream job? I’m guessing the answer is no. I think there are very few of us who strongly knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. I know I didn’t. I’d always loved writing but I never thought of it as a career option, rather just something I loved doing.
I remember when I was young, about ten I suppose I went through a stage where I just wanted a simple life. I wanted to have my own unit, not house, but unit in our little town (I already had it picked out, the one with the pansy’s growing out the front not far from the main CBD), I wanted to work as a secretary in a law office and play netball on the weekends. I’d go to work, come home, cook my dinner, walk the dog and curl up on the couch with my cat. It was a simple dream. Needless to say that ‘dream’ didn’t last long and my next aspiration was to be an actress.
I’d study drama at NIDA, (of course) and then get work in the theatres of Sydney and Melbourne and if I was super lucky Broadway or the West End where I’d then move over into film and TV. This was my not so simple dream. But it was one that I was determined to follow. No matter how much my parents rolled their eyes, and my teachers dismissed me telling me to think about a ‘real career’, I wasn’t giving up, I didn’t falter. That was until a boy and I crossed paths in Year 11.And although I didn’t drop my dream immediately, as the middle of Year 12 drew nearer I ‘knew’ I couldn’t leave to pursue acting. Yes, young love. Young, stupid, love.
Fast forward twenty years and here I am. I married that young boy, then divorced that young boy, married again and added two step daughters and another two daughters to my life. And here I am moving towards a full time career in writing.
If you had told me two decades ago this is where I would be, I would probably have laughed. Or cried. One or the other.
The reality is, we never really do know where life will take us. Each crossroad we face offers a new path, new direction. We can look forward, continue on the path, or look back with regret pondering the what if’s.
What I do know is that I probably haven’t ended up far from where I should be. I’m creating. Creating stories and characters. Some fictional, some real. It’s not that far from acting. Telling stories, sharing ideas, evoking emotion and thought.
Maybe I did know what I wanted to be when I grew up, I just didn’t realise it.