But even then I was a realist, so instead I decided I needed to be an architect. Mike Brady from The Brady Bunch was an architect, and their house was really cool, and I wanted to design cool houses too. My role model growing up was that lady from Beethoven who, when asked if she had any kids, responded with "We have a career."
I wanted my career to be as important as her lapel was large.
I later learned that I had confused architecture with interior design, or better yet, professional Pinterest browsing. But by then I had moved on to writing.
I wanted to be an author mostly because I already had the glasses. But also because I learned how to read and write way back in 1st grade. Architecture would have taken me two college degrees, and even then there's no guarantee I would have been able to weather the disappointing job market.
I wrote short stores for school and for fun. My teachers forced everyone to enter a short story contest every year--I'm not sure why, considering some of us weren't even capable of holding pencils correctly at that time. I guess it's only fair though, since they forced me to participate in Field Day. That's right, I had to compete in the 50-yard dash with the best of them, even though I had a body like a lima bean.
Still do, in fact.
I won the story contest a couple of times, and I was pretty pleased with myself. However, I soon realized that my stories were basically glorified Babysitters Club knockoffs, and there would never be room in the market for both me and Ann M. Martin. Since Ann came first, I figured I better step off.
It was around this time that I discovered boys, makeup, and Limited Too. I slowly replaced my Babysitter's Club books with YM, Girls' Life and Seventeen magazines. I had to rent the Seventeens from the library and hide them under my pillow though, because my mom said I was too young to read them, given that I was not 17 yet. A few years later I pulled the same thing with Cosmo. Now that I'm disillusioned with Cosmo, I hide AARP under my pillow.
I said I discovered boys. I didn't say they discovered me.
I was insatiable for magazines. I read my magazines cover-to-cover as if they were, well, dirty magazines. But they were clean. They offered fun tips such as "paint different colored stripes down the center of each nail for a fun summer look!" and "to make your eyes pop, try eyeliner!"and "hold a contest with a friend to see who can grow the hairiest leg by the end of winter!" I painted the stripes. I tried the eyeliner. I wasn't old enough to shave my legs. It was awesome.
But now magazines are going the way of the dinosaur. Literally, I heard a giant asteroid hit the CosmoGirl! offices a while back. (No, but seriously. Does anyone know what happened to Atoosa Rubenstein?)
I just got a notice that my Glamour subscription, which is probably over a decade old, is ending, and instead of renewing it, I threw it away. How can I be sad about magazines dying when I cancelled all of my subscriptions, bought a Kindle and published an eBook?
So now I guess my career aspirations involve writing for the internet, which I'm already doing, and it turns out that doesn't actually pay. Perhaps it's time to go back to giving Ann M. Martin a run for her money. Or I could become a squirrel.
What did you want to be when you grew up?