We’re back for the May edition of Writer Wednesday. This month we’re talking about what we wanted to be when we grew up. Usually the reality of adulthood doesn’t bear any resemblance to what we envisioned as children. When I was a kid, I wanted to be either a school teacher or a concert pianist.
I started taking piano lessons when I was ten years old and practiced hundreds of hours every year, but the closest I ever came to being a concert pianist was playing a piano concerto with the Lakeland Symphony Orchestra my senior year of high school. A year and a half later, I met my husband, and very soon, the topic of conversation turned to music. When I said I played the piano, he said he’d seen me play somewhere. I mentioned the Young Artists Concert with the Lakeland Symphony Orchestra, and he said, “That’s it. You played Mendelssohn’s Piano Concert in G Minor.” I thought I had a stalker. As it turned out, he was playing French horn in the orchestra at the time and accompanied me at that performance.
As far as my dream of being a school teacher, it didn’t take me very many weeks of teaching Sunday school to decide that maybe I wasn’t cut out for spending my life working with children. Many years ago, the church I belonged to had a bus ministry where we picked up kids and teens in the neighborhood and did a program for them on Wednesday nights. This was a pretty rough neighborhood, and some of the teens we picked up were gang members. I taught the seventh grade class. Each week, that was the longest hour of my life. Those kids used to regularly invade my dreams, and it wasn’t in a pleasant way. That was probably a pretty good indication that teaching children, at least troubled children, was not one of my spiritual gifts.
So I never became a school teacher or a concert pianist. But maybe my dreams weren’t so far off base. I’m not a concert pianist, but I’ve been church pianist since I was 16. (I’m not going to tell you how many years that is!) My husband and I have enjoyed singing and playing together, leading worship at church, for our entire 35 years of marriage.
And though I never became a school teacher for pay, I home schooled my two daughters for ten years and loved every minute of it. And now I do public speaking and present workshops on writing. So maybe I am a teacher at heart.
What about you? What did you want to be when you grew up? Was that dream at all similar to the career you eventually chose?
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Join us next month when we’ll each tell about our favorite vacation.