Monday, 29 October 2012

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Me, I wanted to be a journalist.

Last night James turned to me and asked, "if you could do any job in the world, what would it be?"

I stumbled. Hmm. Any job?
"I'd write."
"About what?"
"What I felt, I don't know. I don't want to write about one thing, I want to write about all the things I care about. No! I know what I'd do, I would make people care with my words."
"How can you make money from that?"
"Well you did say any job."

When I was a little girl I wanted to write. I've alway loved to write.
I wrote my first novel when I was eight years old. It was ten chapters, and was about a sleep over that lasted ten nights. I remember there being magic balloons and dolphins. I wish we still had it.
I kept an 'imaginary journal' for about five year, in which I wrote down stories. Not facts, just stories I made up.
I always excelled in English, but bummed out with an awful English teacher in year 11 that put me academically behind. Before him I always received A's in English. After him I was lucky to get a B. At the time, of course, I thought I'd lucked out. But now I realise I'd actually missed out. Just because my structure and grammar faltered, my passion and my imagination never did.

Luckily for me I still got into my uni course. Luckily for me I've always known where I wanted to be. That drive to complete university has wavered at times. But the drive to write never has.

When I got pregnant almost everyone asked me what I was going to do about university. When I told then I was going to continue it through the pregnancy, the labour and motherhood a lot of people insisted I, "see how I go!"
I knew how I'd go.
I was due August 22nd. All my assignments due in around this time were completed by August 10th. All my lecturers knew I was expecting and told me if I needed any extensions they'd be more than happy to help. I didn't even want them to know I was pregnant, I didn't want them to think I was taking on too much. But they were actually very supportive.
I never asked for one extension.
I'm a journalism student. A deadline is a deadline! There are no extensions in the newsroom. This has been drilled into me since day dot.
But I am proud that I pulled it off. Not surprised, it's easy when you're dabbling in your passion. But proud.
I can't even say it was difficult. I never remember stressing too much. I was blessed with a very calm child. But he was still a newborn. Yet I think uni helped to keep me sane, grounded. It gave me that sense of self that so many new mothers crave.

It has always been something that I am doing for me. I am a very giving person and often put others before myself. I would never want to be any different. Uni is for me, for myself.
But I never could have gotten my degree without James. He has helped me through it in more ways than one. In fact, he is the reason I will get my degree. I've always known I wanted this, but I never knew if I could do it. James believed in me every step of the way. When I did poorly he would tell me that it's not because I am stupid, it's because I didn't apply myself. He was always right.
He has encouraged me, he has supported me and he has prioritised my studies. So I guess it's for him too.

I also want Oliver to see that you don't have to settle. That you can have it all. A family, a marriage, a career. Or you can just have one, or two. Either way, you never have to settle for a 'wage.' At times you may have to work a job you dislike to get by but you can still work towards your passion. You may be up until 3AM, you may miss out on social events, but you can do it. So this degree is for him too.

As my father always taught me, "if your passion is shovelling sh**, you will find a way to make money out if it!"

Writing is my passion. Writing is a part of me.

As I said yesterday, when I started my degree I wanted to change the world. Now I realise that all I need to do is put a smile of one readers face and I've changed their world, if just for a second. It all starts with baby steps. I don't need to be a major player in the media world to make an impact, I just need to be true to myself and true to others.

In eight days I will take my final exam. In eight days I will be able to call myself a qualified journalist, and PR practitioner. In eight days I will finish university.

I feel great, proud, excited, nervous, anxious and a little bit sad. I have learnt so much. A big reason why I re-started this blog was to keep my mind active and my finger in the pie. I plan to go back to a community radio station I used to volunteer at and revisit my passion for music and the local arts. I plan to continue working on my CV, but most importantly I plan on continuing to love what I do. I do not want to compromise my beliefs and my morals. I want to continue to write for the love of it.

Of course I can't foresee what the future holds but I know that my family comes first. I know we want to expand our family. I know that we don't want our children to be raised by someone else or in a daycare centre. I know that Oliver only gets one childhood. I have my entire future to focus on my career, only the next few years with a child.

And we are the lucky few who are able to survive on one wage. 

But I will continue to write. I have always been a writer, I will always be a writer. Whether it comes with a pay cheque or not it is something I will always do. And soon enough I will have a degree telling me what I already knew.

So what do you want to be when you grow up?


  1. I thought I always wanted to write, but I too wanted to change the world. I didn't really know how I could find a way I could do that, and speak up for kids who were left by the wayside. So it was only inevitable that Primary Teaching is my calling, it beckons me, and I know it's what I want to do.

    You've always been a wonderful writer, not to mention an inspirational one.

  2. Thank you for reading my blog too Cas. I left you a reply to it x