Friday, 9 January 2015

What Did You Want To Be when You Grew Up?

I wanted to write.

You see, when I was six, in my last year of infant school, I contracted mumps, followed by severe chicken pox (really severe: I nearly died, I tell you), followed by glandular fever (they call it the "kissing disease": but I really wasn't that precocious, honest!) which meant I was in bed for a long, long, long time. In that time I discovered reading.

I read the Secret Seven and the Famous Five. I joined in with the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew as they solved their mysteries. The Lone Pine club had an extra member that they never knew about and Biggles always had me on his side (although I always liked Bertie best).

Eventually it dawned on me that Enid Blyton and Captain W E Johns hadn't written me into their stories!

So I started to write myself in. I wrote countless pointless stories featuring me and the Famous Five and Biggles into grey ruled exercise books which have long since disintegrated into dust motes.

At fifteen I read my first Mills and Boon romance and a secret passion was born.
Unsurprisingly I did rather well in my English exams and eventually ended up taking English as a degree.

I became a chartered accountant (huh?) and then, when marriage and financial security allowed, an Image consultant (yes: it is another passion, honest!)

Twenty years later, when I engaged a lifestyle coach, I didn't expect this!

With a suddenness and power I had not remotely envisaged the desire to write a romantic novel lifted its primeval head from the swamp of emotion and roared at me! So, I've done it: I've actually finished the first draft of my first romantic novel.

My husband, meanwhile, has been navigating terrors of his own.

He knew at the age of seven that he wanted to be a teacher. He is a natural teacher: children swarm to him in order to learn. For some reason he became a banker. (!!!) (Look: I got chartered accountant: let's not poke fingers here, OK?)

Having retired from banking he has now enrolled on a course to become a Teaching Assistant, with a view to becoming a Primary School Teacher.

So, at the age of 50+, we are at last realising our childhood dreams.

It's scary: not least because of the financial risks; but we have got something that really drives us, which really fuels us.

I hope so much we can pass this onto our children. So far we have one who wants status and security and Goldman Sachs after her Oxford degree and one who wants fluffy-wuffy animals and her dreams...

Heaven help me: I don't know which is best...

Mary
A Moodscope member.