Writing Workshop: Altered Dreams

May 18, 2011

I am posting early for two reasons: I didn’t post much last week, and I have a ton of stuff to post later this week for Maritime Day (May 22nd) including, hopefully, a guest blog on the N.S. Savannah!

1.)                What was your big dream for yourself when you were 18 and had graduated from high school? It is funny how life turns out, isn’t it? (Insert Garth Brooks’ Unanswered Prayers as the soundtrack for this post.)

My senior year was crazy. I was not in band for the first time. In all honesty, that was neither a good nor a bad decision. It was hard to be in the top band if you weren’t going to be a music major with a young (she was probably less than 10 years older than us) director who was focused on getting as many music majors into college. I opted to take art and drama classes and I got to know other members of the senior class. I also dated outside the band for the first time; again, neither good nor bad.

I had early acceptance to all the colleges I had applied to but I chose my top choice. I had the rest of the year to sit back and relax. Talk about senioritis. But it was fun to watch everyone else sweating it out in March of our senior year. Shortly after that I broke up with a boyfriend and just started taking stock of what I wanted in life.

I was going to be an English major. I wanted to write, not teach. I wanted to be a hot-shot publisher and editor too. I think I probably had every class I wanted picked out of the catalog and a plan of action before I even stepped foot on the campus.

I didn’t want a boyfriend; certainly not one who was not going to college, who did not want more for himself. I wanted to be strong but I also wanted someone who could take care of me. I was very happy to be going to college unattached.

I didn’t even want to think about marriage until I was 30 and children by 35. I wanted my career and I wanted to be like Diane Keaton in that movie where she inherits the baby late in life after a strong career known at the Tiger Lady.

I did not realize how strongly I projected this until several years later. About 6, almost 7 years after graduating from high school I ran into several old acquaintances and many were “stunned” to see not only was I married but had gotten married at 21. I asked one friend, “What? Is it so hard to believe? Was I like totally hideous and unmarriageable?” (Ok, not quite those words, but you get the point.)

She kindly answered, “It’s not that. You walked across the stage to get your diploma practically shouting ‘I’m going to be this hot-shot publisher, not get married till I’m 30 and then I’ll think about children!’ It is kind of shocking.”

A few years later, 6 months pregnant with T2 at my 10 year reunion I got much the same reaction.

I didn’t lose my dream, it just changed. What was important changed. DH was very conscientious of making sure he did not have a negative impact on my studies. In fact, my grades actually went up! Making sure I had a degree and job offers were top priority—after all, until we said “I do” either one of us could have backed out.

A very dear friend who I babysat for while at college lent me a book called “Their Yesterdays.” It is a very typical Victorian era book—long, long narrative passages repeating the same thing at least three different ways. The main characters are The Man and The Woman. There are 13 chapters and each is told from the two different points of view. This book helped changed my ideas about love and marriage; helped prompt many discussions with DH about dreams and goals; and got me to really look at passages in the Bible about submission and how a man is supposed to treat his wife. I am forever grateful to my friend and the fact she found another copy of this out of print book to give me as a wedding present meant so much to me.

I accomplished everything save one goal that I set out to do with my degree and my career. I was (guess I still could be) an editor for books, magazines, pamphlets, conference materials, you name it. I wrote 4 articles for publication—though I can’t stand journalism. And I paid off the majority of my student loans by myself prior to having T1.

The only thing I have not done is write a book. And I have so many of those floating around in my head. This blog is a product of that desire and hopefully it will come to be.

I have the best job in the world—raising our two children. When T1 turned 9, I bawled like a baby because I realized I was half-way through. If T1 is not ready to fly the nest and make her own journey at college, then DH and I have not done our job. T2 will turn 9 this fall and that means in 9 years DH and I will start a whole new chapter and adventure, new dreams and new goals, and we are young enough to enjoy it.

My 20 year reunion will be soon though I don’t think anyone has planned it this time. Facebook has allowed me to reconnect and while there are many that had children even younger than I did, there are many who are just starting out or who still have young families. I was supposed to be one of them. I’m so thankful to God for sending me DH when He did. I can’t imagine my life any other way!

Writing Prompts:

1.) What was your big dream for yourself when you were 18 and had graduated from high school?
2.) Write about a time when jealousy got the best of you.
3.) Write a poem about the last person you spoke to on the phone, based on the conversation you had.
4.) Describe a food you abhor.
5.) List ten favorite things about one of your favorite people.

Bonus Vlog Option!

Sometimes it’s hard to put yourself out there on video, but it’s a fun and different option for a post and a great way for your readers to get to know you better. The problem is many of us don’t know what to vlog about…this bonus prompt option will give you the inspiration you need to create a short video for your blog. Now to drum up the courage…

6.) Describe a time when your child said or did something that made you laugh out loud.

If you want more information about Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop, click on that trophy over there…



  1. Hi! This is formerly, when in the country. I know what you mean about, plans changing! I didn’t see myself getting married, anytime soon, after I graduated, let alone haveing kids! I went to work right after I graduated. Three years after I graduated I was married!! A year later I was pregnant! Not that I was unhappy about any of it. I just shocked a lot of people!

  2. Visiting from Mama Kat’s; I also chose this prompt today. Enjoyed reading your post – it’s been interesting reading the different entries for this prompt. Seems that we all had big dreams, most of them didn’t pan out, but life turned out okay for us anyway!

  3. Very sweet! Its crazy how life doesnt always turn out the way we planned yet somehow we always end up where we are supposed to be!

  4. […] T2 turns 9 this year–she won’t even be 18 when she’ll start college! As I said in Altered Dreams, in 9 short years DH and I start another chapter of our […]

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