When you were twelve, did you know what you wanted to become when grown? A few days ago, I started going through a closet full of photos and old papers from years ago with the idea of getting rid of some of it and organizing the rest.
After days of sorting and tossing, I discovered an autobiography I had written. It was an assignment which my seventh grade teacher, Miss Galbraith, gave us students several months to complete, and told us our success or failure carried with it a large part of our overall grade for the year and was due in the spring. No pressure there!
I remember being perplexed about how to begin, since my life had started out so different from the other children in my class. A large part of my early years were spent in foster care and later being adopted, so I didn’t have the usual baby pictures and mother and father photos for Illustration. I had to start somewhere, however, so I began with explaining I was adopted and I wrote about my last foster home, adoption, and a couple foster children who came to live with us later.
I wrote about my church and singing in the various choirs through the years, and about my friends, and about school. In sixth grade, a couple of my poems were published in the school newspaper. It’s strange to me that I still remember writing them and I can still recite them at the age of seventy-two. I mean, gads, that was a loooong time ago! Why do we remember such things? Here’s one:
I am a little flake of snow,
Falling from the sky;
I bounce and toss and whirl away.
Such fun – oh me! oh my!
I gently touch the treetops tall,
And scamper here and there;
I rustle on the window pane,
With not a thought or care.
And when at last I reach the ground,
And join the other flakes of snow;
We play a game of hide and seek
With piercing winter winds that blow.
I wrote about how my leisure time was spent and about vacation trips to the western states, Canada and Florida that I’d taken with my parents and suddenly, it was spring and my autobiography was soon due.
In trying to write the last chapter, I found myself in a real quandary. I originally wanted to title it, “My Future,” but I had no idea what that would be. What I did write is as follows:
“…I do think putting down a lot of facts and reading them over has helped me to realize that there really is to be a future and what it is like will depend a lot on how I shape it. My mother and father say there are many things I might do and have explained to me that most of the professional fields require a lot of work and training. They have suggested I might want to do something in dramatics or music, because I like to entertain people. I think maybe I may want to be a writer, because that would be another way to make people happy.”
As I ponder the words of my autobiography, written so many years ago, I’m surprised. Dumbfounded, actually. I don’t remember them. I thought my desire to write came from the search and subsequent discovery of my sister’s whereabouts much later in my life. What a revelation! That writing seed was planted when I was twelve, not during my fifty year search.
How about you? Have you discovered something really significant about yourself many years later that was buried in your subconscious? I’d love to hear about it.