that's me - Stephanie Boman!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What do you want to be when you grow up?

When I was four or five I asked my mom if any of the letters in the mail were for me. Yes, she said, and opened an envelope and read: Dear Steffie, we would like to offer you a job as an airline stewardess (that's what they were called back then) when you grow up. Please contact us when you are eighteen years old.

I couldn't yet read and so I believed that the piece of mail my mom "read" was really an offer of employment for me specifically. For several years I thought that was what I would be when I grew up. I have no idea why my mom picked that profession, I'd never said I wanted to be one, but I didn't question my destiny. My career was set.

I forgot about it as I grew older and when I was in elementary school my favorite thing to play was secretary (that's what they were called back then). I loved pretending to sit at a desk and perform tasks like carefully writing lists, making check marks, answering the phone and shuffling papers into neat stacks. Maybe it was the organization that soothed me – to this day I crave order in my home.

Yes, I had lofty aspirations.

The next thing I remember wanting to be was a writer. I did very well on essays in high school, wrote some dog awful poetry and started a story that now, twenty-three years later, is close to being made into a book.

I only wrote a few pages of the story when I was a sophomore. It was about a high school romance. Okay, yes, it was based on my real life experiences, which I thought were tragic and dramatic enough to become literature. I've kept some of the names, the football game, the dance, the mean girl, the disbelief that a hot guy (Troy from my book is waaay hotter than the dude I crushed on back then, though) liked me, which constituted pretty much all that I had written back when I was fifteen.

Many of my high school memories are crystallized in my mind. Maybe it's because I kept a journal that I've reread over the years. Maybe this is why I feel so connected to writing for young adults.

While the "coffee, tea, or me" gig never panned out, I did get into admin work (that's what they call it now) when I grew up. I still get a little thrill starting my morning with piles of "to dos" that I clear off by the end of the day.

And now I can also say I became a writer. Not because I have a book published, yet, but because I am determined to take the seeds of a story from my adolescent self and turn them into the fulfillment of a dream.

8 comments:

Candyland said...

Love this. I wanted to be a singer. And though, I still sing, I much prefer to stay behind the words instead of belting them out.

Bish Denham said...

This is great. Flashback on the picture! I wanted to be a number of different things when I was a kid. An archeologist, a mapmake, and a nun are just three.

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

I started out wanting to be a heart doctor, until I realized that blood makes me kind of queasy. I graduated college with the intent to be a therapist, but my kids came first. I may go back to that eventually. Writing is something I've just loved all along.

Suzette Saxton said...

I love this story! It's amazing how kids take to heart what their parents tell them when they are young.

For me it has always been writing, from that first (rather disgusting) poem I wrote at age five. Thank goodness my mom didn't hang onto it - she could probably blackmail me with it today!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Great post:) I love to draw so I wanted to be an animator.
I still love painting and drawing but I think deep down I've always wanted to write, even if I didn't admit to it.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

p.s I gave you an award over on my blog:)

Christine Fonseca said...

I was thinking about this exact thing the other day. When people ask me if I always wanted to be a writer I always say no...that was until I remembered one of my "dreams". It was after the idea of being a marine biologist and model, and before I wanted to be a lawyer...

I wanted to be a writer! HUH! Who knew!!!

Carrie said...

love this. I wanted to be an artist but by the time I got to high school I wanted to be a writer.

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