When you’re a kid, your interaction with adults is usually confined to the following conversations:
“How was school?” which was always followed by “Fine.”
“So, got a boyfriend/girlfriend yet?” which was always followed by “No…gross.”
And the ever popular “So, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
If I was 5 and you had asked me that last question, my answer probably would have been “dog.” Perhaps I was just an inherently lazy child, but to me, dogs were living the ultimate life. Sleep all day, eat whenever you want, get petted, roll around in some gross stuff, fart whenever you want and sleep some more. Now THAT is the true American dream.
If I was 11, however, and you had asked me this question, I would have said model/actress/archeologist/doctor (while doing research as a marine biologist on the weekends, naturally).
By 15, most likely my response would have been along the lines of “Whatever…hey, how noticeable is this zit?”
But by 17, I would emphatically declare that I, Aprill Brandon, was going to be a writer.
By 18, a great writer!
By 19, a world-famous writer! Who would eventually go on to star in the movie-versions of her novels alongside Orlando Bloom as the lead male.
By 20, a teacher!…which lasted up until my first 15 minutes of student teaching, when it instantly switched back to writer!
By 21…well, that whole year is pretty fuzzy so my answer would most likely have been “Letzzz do ‘nother shot, bitchessss!”
The point is, for a very long time all I wanted to be was a writer. And so I became one, working as a journalist and columnist for the past six years.
But if you were to ask me now, at the age of 29, what I want to be when I grow up, the answer is simply “I don’t know” (although sometimes, if I just got done watching “Blade Trinity” for the 114th time, I’ll respond with “Ryan Reynold’s post-divorce rebound”).
Perhaps it’s because I left my old job to move to Boston with my husband and now have the time and opportunity to explore other career avenues. Or maybe I’m just burnt out after so many years in a high stress, demanding job. Possibly it’s because the big dirty 30 is creeping up on me. Or it could even be I’m beginning to feel a little out of my league considering Boston attracts a whole lot of wicked smaaaht people.
Whatever the reason, I’m at a loss what my next step should be. Hell, I’m at a loss what my next sentence should be.
I mean, even with this blog, I’m not sure what I’m doing. Technically, the whole theme is…well, there’s not even really a theme other than “hey, I’m almost 30, just moved to Boston and have no idea what I’m doing.” And apparently in this day and age, first-person writing needs to document a year of your life as you cook, or eat, pray and get laid, or read the entire encyclopedia or whatever the next blog-turned-book-turned-movie that is coming out is about.
And looking through job listings just makes me tired. From what I can tell, my options outside of media are pretty much confined to barista or project manager for some company that I can’t pronounce.
So, should I take this time to explore other options (how hard can it be to make a non-fat, soy latte with an extra shot of espresso anyway?), or pursue my lifelong dream? Or is it even my dream anymore?
I guess the real question here is: Is writing what I do, or is it who I am?
Hmm…maybe I had it right when I was 5.