When I was little, around six or seven, I used to play Library. My friend had a big empty room with two bookshelves at the far end that made me giddy every time I was at her house. Once in a while, she would give in to my bookish whims and allow me to dig out paper and stamps so we could write library checkout cards. I loved pulling books off the shelves and talking with my imaginary library patrons. There was always a lineup.
I won’t admit to how often I played library at home by myself. Sometimes, my parents would take pity and I’d have a real-life customer, but for the most part my imagination sustained me. At this point, you might be thinking ‘What a lonely, dorky child she must have been.’ You’d only be half right, though — I wasn’t lonely at all.
I don’t know if I ever voiced it, but I so desperately wanted to be a librarian. The coolest job in the world. As time passed, that particular career started to lose its lustre but my love of books continued (okay, intensified).
In grade two, a story I’d written was chosen for lamination. The pride I felt, knowing that my bunny tale was good enough to be plasticized, was almost too much for me to tamp down. There was a celebratory parade in my belly complete with fireworks, confetti and party horns.
I dreamt of being an writer, not based on innate talent but on my love of books. I largely kept that dream to myself, though, always feeling like it was too lofty a goal — not the stuff real life is made of.
When high school rolled around, I was surprised at my dislike of English class. I loved reading but I didn’t like being told what to read. King Lear was not my thing. ‘If you don’t like the classics,‘ I’d tell myself, ‘then you can’t be a writer. You’re obviously missing something.‘ Every red circle or edit on an assignment further cemented, in my mind, that I needed to find another profession. Thus, any lingering author aspirations were quashed.
I continued to write but without any nagging thoughts that my words were anything other than a way to maintain a quasi-acceptable level of sanity.
But, starting to write a blog for my business twelve years ago rekindled my long-buried passion for writing and I’ve come to realize there’s only one answer to what I want to be when I grow up: A writer.