Yesterday, I asked my mother if she knew I was going to be an author when I was young. She said, “No. But I did know you were going to do something with books. You loved books.”
I spent a lot of time during my teenage years and early twenties going back and forth between a long list of potential careers, which included:
- A Concert Pianist
- A Civil Engineer
- A Teacher
- A Diplomat
- A Lawyer
Surprisingly, none of the careers I spent all my time daydreaming about included writing. It never really occurred to me that I could write and people would pay me for my words and ideas.
Once, when I was perhaps in middle school, I also asked my piano teacher, Ms. Diane, what she thought I’d do when I grew up. As I saw her every week for an hour without fail during all of my formative years, Ms. Diane was probably the adult who knew me best outside of my parents. She said that she didn’t know, but she sensed I would probably have a very creative career– with all my degrees propped on top of my piano.
I think about Ms. Diane’s vision for me more often now that I’m 26 and almost done with my Ph.D. and have a stack of unpublished novels on my hard drive, ready to make their way into the world. After several years of accumulating degrees, I’m feel like I’m finally on my path. And, as Ms. Diane’s vision predicted, it’s much more creative than I would have ever imagined for myself.
All things considered, it is amazing that I never truly pursued writing as a profession until college. Three things were true about child Ravynn:
- I loved books.
- I loved to write.
- I loved to make things.
Elementary School Ravynn entered every the Young Writers Contest every year; she attempted to start a magazine with her friends in the fourth grade; she wrote newspapers and comics: The Stringfield Times and Power Squad; and she wrote an entire novel about a preteen detective that her father graciously printed out for her at work.
Middle School Ravynn infamously fictionalized her life in a novel called, One, and kept detailed journals during those tumultuous times.
High School Ravynn entered, and won, NaNaWriMo every year; attempted to fuse music and writing in an original musical; and, of course, was almost expelled for writing X-Men style stories that featured her and her classmates against their teachers during English class.
And that’s not even half of what I got up to as a child.
Somehow, still, I never let myself imagine what it would be like to see my name on the cover of a book. To hold a few hundred pages of my own words in my hands.
Recently, I have been imagining it.
I’m giving myself permission to daydream.
Even though I know the various versions of my younger self had certain plans for the future, somehow, I know that there’s not a single version of myself that wouldn’t love where I am now, and everything that’s to come.
I’m still reading.
I’m still making things.
And I’m still writing.
And one day, maybe, you’ll get to pick my book up off your shelf.