Monday, October 4, 2010

Coming Full Circle

So I interviewed a lady last week who in high school dreamed of becoming a teacher and working with kids, establishing community programs and stuff like that.

She was from Kentucky and in the summers she traveled to Vegas and worked with the schools there establishing adult learning programs and summer continuing education activities.

She did it, right?

Then she joined the FBI and was a special agent for 27 years. She lived in Philly, Vegas, Mobile (which is how she ended up in my neck of the woods), and when she retired to Fairhope, she became a Master Gardener.

Now she says her most fulfilling activity is working with the Fairhope-Point Clear Rotary Youth Club. They have a Junior Master Gardener program and last year she spent five months teaching 12 fifth graders all about horticulture, organic farming, community gardens, recycling, and more.

LTM: So would you say you've come full circle?
Cool Lady Interviewee: Yes. But I think everybody does that, even though they might not realize it.

Naturally, when I interview someone and s/he offers a reflection like that, I see if it applies to my life and where I am.

Way back when I started blogging I wrote a post about why I abandoned the dream of writing books as a teenager ("How High School Influenced My Writing Career"). I pursued a degree in English, taught high school one year, then went back and got my master's and became an editor.

I did that and PR work for 12 years before stopping and having children. Or more accurately, before my children stopped me. My little ladies weren't exactly planned, but that's OK. I get the best surprises...

And now here I am, dreaming of becoming a novelist again. At least now in my dreams I don't look like Jane Austin in that big ole dress scratching away furiously with my feather pen. (I revise so much, that would be a disaster.)

So I wonder Have any of you come full circle? Or were you just always amazing like that--You put the goal in your sights and never gave up the dream.

Personally, I'm glad I came back around. Love~ <3


Stina said...

I know what you mean about the feather pen. It it wasn't for computers, there's no way I'd be a writer. I revise too much for that. I'd go insane.

When I was eight, I decided I wanted to be a writer. My best friend and I wrote a chapter together. No prep work at all. I just told her what to write (she had neater writing and could spell much better than me). We didn't get much further than that.

In high school, I tried writing a novel. Again, no preplanning, and I didn't get beyond chapter one. I had no idea what the story was about. Plus, I decided I wasn't a born writer, which meant I couldn't write a book.

LOL. Now I know few people are born writers. We have to learn to write novels (if we want to succeed). Yes, I've come in a full circle. Only difference is (beyond being a much better writer than before) I now do extensive preplanning before I start the first draft. :)

Natasha said...

The other day, someone asked me if I would ever get a tattoo, and my immediate answer was "never. too permanent".
And that's because every couple of years, I end up reinventing myself. OK, the essentials are the same, but what I am doing in life, my passions, my aspirations, my ambitions, even my physical appearance changes completely. How on earth can I get a tattoo done.

Strangely, though, all the women I have been, are good friends with each other, and with me, so I guess the essence doesn't change.

Mason Canyon said...

Change is good for us in some ways. I guess how we remain the same inside is what keeps us going. That desire for new things, new adventures, new learning experiences.

Thoughts in Progress

LTM said...

@Stina: I had this idea of what a writer looked like--and it wasn't a deterrent, actually... ;p IMO, a "born writer" is a bit like "born mother"--perhaps some are more inclined, but if you're dedicated, etc., you can learn to be great at it. :o) <3

@Rayna: LOL--perhaps you should get a chameleon tattoo? ;p Change has been a staple in my life (ha!)--chalk it up to the feminine mystique~ ;o) <3

@Mason: And it adds fodder to the ole idea bag. :D

Holly Hill said...

I suppose I did come full circle. As a child I was an early reader. I devoured the classics (abridged versions) before most had given up books with pictures in them. I always had a fierce love of words.

Then I thought I'd be a scientist. LOL Didn't work so well for me.

So here I am, with my words once again. :)

Thanks for the reflection. What a nice way to start the week.

Creepy Query Girl said...

I honestly have no idea. LOL. Growing up, I wanted to be everything from a marine biologist to a singer on broadway. What I lacked was passion. I always loved reading and I enjoyed writing. But when I sat down to write my first novel, I realized that I'd found what I love to do. No matter how much time goes by, how much work goes into it or how complicated being a writer is- I NEVER get sick of it. So, I'd say the circle's complete in the sense that I've finally found my passion.

Jamie Council said...

Words have always been my first love. I thought it was normal to tell and write down fantastical stories when I was little, because my dad used to make up stories that would last entire car trips to visit family in North Mississipi. he woudl tell the same story up and back, just picking up "where he left off" for the return trip. (Ahh, to go back in time and record them.)

It wasn't until I was taught "structure" in school that I began to second guess what I naturally did. Although I dreamed of being a writer, I was convinced by the time I finished college that I was just not cut out for it. My natural writing style was too simple and too full of "voice".

It wasn't until graduate school that I was told that the simplicity and voice I had always been asked to amsk was what made my writing interesting. Thankfully, now that I'm a teacher, I get to encourage the authentic voices of my students'.

I am still a bit gun-shy of sharing my own work, but my dream has been reifnited because of my children. When I tell them they can do or be anything as long as they have passion for it, I want to speak from experieince.

PK HREZO said...

I always knew I'd be a writer. I just knew. Just like I always knew I'd be a mom. It's something inside your heart and soul. I've written stories since I was ten... but I always knew while I was growing up that I needed real life experiences to be able to write good stories. I was the adventurous, try anything type--which doesn't always end up being a good thing, but it was a study of sorts.

I think I lost sight of the writer in me for awhile, but when it finally resurfaced again after my kids were born, I was like, "Oh yeah! Duh.... I should be writing!"

Great question!

Carolyn Abiad said...

For me, writing has always been a favorite thing to do, so somehow it always surfaced in whatever I did. I guess you could say I finally woke up and smelled the coffee...:D

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Many times people will end up doing what they said back at age 7 when they talked about "what I want to be when I grow up." Whether it's writer or whatever, sometimes those uncluttered dreams of childhood are the ones that we need to listen to most.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

I love that you did this. ME...full circle?? Not just yet. Though I had to leave my professional dancing career behind me because of my mom's illness, I still swirl in the creative realm. I draw, paint murals, and make Christmas Wreaths for sale. That's why I started writing two years ago. My creative juices needed a bigger field to play in.

Vicki Rocho said...

My life has been very circular, but in different ways. Geography: Iowa-Vegas-Iowa-Vegas-Iowa.

When we looked at houses, we were inadvertently looking at houses in a circle around the house we wound up buying.

As a kid I wanted to be a writer. I remember telling my friends in first grade (that or a professional roller skater hahaha). I wrote a lot through the teen years then stopped. Started a bit when my daughter was born, then stopped. Now I'm back at it. Serious this time. Ready to do the work.

I'm sure I have other circles, but this is long enough already. LOL!

RaShelle Workman said...

Hey Leigh - I always knew I'd be a writer even though I didn't always know I knew. Does that make sense? In college, I changed my major 25 times (A LOT). Now I'm doing what I love. I finally found it. xoxoxo

LTM said...

@Holly: writer, scientist... that was my debate, too! :D no, words rule~ :o)

@Katie: And you're so good at them! :o) yay~

@Jamie: Those Miss. storytellers--love that. My dad used to sing all the old songs. I want THAT on recording! Don't be shy--share away! :o)

@PK: That's awesome. I agree about experiences creating great stories, but I guess it's not always necessary...? I'm thinking of those v. good kid writers! ;p

@Carolyn: yay, coffee wins! wait... ;p

@Sher: Let that creativity flow. I think that's awesome!

@Vicki: I'm so dizzy! ;p ew, the W word... I want to hear about that sharky lunch~ ;p

@RaShelle: Excellent. Here's to doing what we love! :o) <3 you guys~

Unknown said...

I can't say I've come full life's road seems to be a long, straight, hilly affair -- and I'm always surprised at what becomes visible over the next rise. Writing has always been a part of the journey, but like my life on a whole, it is always evolving into something unexpected.

DL Hammons said...

The shape of my journey would probably look more like a hexagon than a circle! :)

LTM said...

@Nicole: I hear ya. My circle went up and down as it went around... :D

@DL: LOL! A hexagon. :D But that might be a better image. Hmmm...

Ella said...

Wow Leigh, this one is tough for me.
I have always wanted to be an artist and here I am treading in this world again. I still am considering culinary school... My circle is isn't full yet, but I'm working on it. I ended up with a Business management degree, so not me. I then worked in an hospital; I was the heartbeat of communications, Switchboard operator, Admissions.
Then move, move, move, worked as a
Hotel Operator. I have been an AssMan(Assistant Manager) at a Fitness Facility,....I use to work in retail and was the Window many books is that?! I have had the opportunity to wear several hats I didn't think I would ever try on!
Perhaps, I'm on the right path now?! Time will tell....
Great post~ xXx

LTM said...

@Ellie: I think lots of experiences translates into lots of story ideas, yes? Still, your art is beautiful and I bet your cooking would be delicious! Follow your passion~ :o) <3

Unknown said...

What a very cool interview!!! I love!! I have to say that I haven't been in the game long enough to even fall away from it, however I hope that I continue the dream because this is the first thing in my life that has ever felt right... not counting meeting my husband!

Cruella Collett said...

Not yet. But hopefully I will, eventually ;)

Ex-pat Odessa said...

well I always knew I wanted to live overseas, so I guess I did come full circle....just not the way I expected to!