Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Perfect Life

I may be thirty years old, but I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. There is one fictional future that I’ve thought about a lot over the years, and recently I’ve decided to just go for it.

So here is a little background on what my life has looked like for the last 30 years. I’m dyslexic and spent most of my early education generally sucking at all things literary. Math and science don’t require much reading, so I always excelled in both areas in school. When I went to college I thought I was going to do pre-med or pre-engineering or maybe just majoring in something highly practical like math.

Then I started taking humanities classes and found out how utterly fasinating they were. A big part of me wanted to be an English major. But I could bearly read, and had to get all my text books on tape. Listening my way through the random English class was one thing, but actually majoring in English without reading felt way to much like cheating. So I majored in anthropology instead. Anthropology is a very fascinating subject. I’m very interested in people and how they tick and loved the puzzle of uncovering ancient cultures through archeology.

I thought about getting a PHD in archeology. But most of my interest was in stone age & bronze age sites, and for general safety reasons moving to the middle east in 2001 didn’t seem like the best life plan. On top of that, I always had this nagging voice in the back of my head that I was selling myself short.

Math and science always came easy to me. And reading clearly didn’t. What if I had the ability to discover some great scientific breakthrough. Would it be fair to humanity to waste that talent on a social science? I know this sounds very egotistical, but at age 21, these were the thoughts in my head.

So a year after I graduated from college, I re-inrolled and earned myself a second degree. This time in civil engineering. I’m glad that I forced myself to give math a serious try. Mainly because it showed me that I’m not all that special. There are a lot of people who could never be engineers, who can’t comprehend linear algebra, and just playing don’t get physics. But there are also a lot of people who can. I’m smart enough to be an engineer. I spent less time studying in engineering school then I did in my anthropology days. And I’ve been gainfully employed as an engineer ever since I graduated. But I know lots of engineers who think in a more scientific way than I do. I’m never going to uncover some great scientific breakthrough. Really, as far as science nerds go, I’m pretty average.

Lately I’ve been entertaining myself by writing YA novels during my free-time. It seems like a nice marrage of my two halfs. I get paid to work as an engineer, and I still have a creative outlet. But when I grow up, I don’t really want to be an engineer or a part time YA novelest. When I grow up, I want to write archeology based children’s adventure stories.

There is this series that I’ve had in my head for years, about this time traveling nine year old who stumbles upon ancient ruins and artifiacts and is then wisked back in time to discover the hidden cultures of the forgotten past. It would be so fun to write that. Way more fun then being a normal archeologist. Way more fun than any other life I can think of for myself. I could travel around the country/world visiting archeology sites, researching ancient cultures, and interviewing scientists. Then I could write books about them for elementry school kids, and skip the tedium of spending decades shifting through the dirt.

So I’m just going to go for it. This summer I’m going on a road trip, and am putting Mesa Verde on my list of stops. In the mean time I’m doing all the internet and library research I can about the ancestrial puebloan people who lived in the Colorado plato 800 years ago. Everything I’ve written up until now has been easy and research free. Writing historical fiction for kids wont be easy and it definitely wont be research free. But it will be me. It’s a perfect blend of my roughts in archeology, my maticiulous engineer’s ability to track detail, and my imaginative writers side. I finally know what I want to be when I grow up. And I’m so excited to get started.

Joke of the Day
A budist munk walked up to a hotdog vender and order a dog with everything. The hotdog vendor took a twenty dollar bill from the munk and handed him his hotdog. "That hotdog only cost $3, and I handed you a 20. Don't I get any change?"
The hotdog vendor looked up at the munk and said, "Change comes from within."

1 comment:

Troy and Beth said...

I can't wait to read your series! Very very cool! (You don't know me...but I'm Porsche's sister...she started me reading your blog. I enjoy how you write...Thanks!)