I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
I never really knew what I was going to be "when I grew up." I still don't, really. I wrote some typically juvenile scenarios in junior high peopled with my best friends wherein we all grew up and were breathtakingly cool, and I was a singer or an artist or a writer. But I never really knew. And I never really worked toward any particular goal.
In college, I started as an Art major, and I loved it. I loved painting with watercolors, and life drawing, and using jig saws in the sculpture class. I've always messed about with paints and papers and arty things. I painted a tree in autumn, in oils, when I was about 11 years old and gave it to my grandmother one year for Christmas. It was pretty good, and you never would have guessed a child painted it. When she died, my mom gave it back to me and I had it in the back of my car along with some other miscellaneous things from my grandmother's house. It was parked outside my apartment building in Chicago and someone broke into the car and stole them. Someone stole my painting. MY painting. I hope they're enjoying it wherever it is and that it didn't end up in the garbage container down the street.
After 3 years as an Art major, I realized that I didn't have the obsession necessary to make my art my career. I knew people who did, and I wasn't like them, at least not that way. I'm good at lots of things, but I'm not sure any one talent of mine really stands out. It makes me feel a bit like a butterfly, and I don't mean the pretty wings part.
I'm great at organizing things and I'm creative. I can sing. I can write when I put my mind to it. I can draw and I have a good eye for color and arrangement. I can tell a good story, and I read well out loud. I can read a regular-sized paperback book in an hour and remember it. I can ace term papers. I can spell like a fiend, and use big words with confidence. There are so many things I'm good at, and an equal number that I never learned or wasn't interested in, or can't do well. But, again, nothing that really stands out, in my own mind, anyway.
Tonight, Martin reiterated that he is going to be an artist (at one point it was "mountain-climbing artist" but he's since scaled down), and Karin chimed in that SHE was going to be an astronaut. Worthy goals, both of them.
What AM I going to be when I grow up?