It was my junior year in high school. Six weeks previous to this experience we had all just taken an aptitude test. Now we were being shuffled, one by one, into a councilors office to discuss our plans for the future based on the results of the testing.
I went in and a kind women, whom I didn't recall ever seeing before, asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. That question was easy. My dad was a mechanical engineer, and for as long as I could remember, I wanted to be one too. "Mechanical engineer," I said with pride.
We are lucky she didn't ask me what a mechanical engineer did because I had no clue. She just said, "great, your tests results line up perfectly with a future as an engineer. Now if you had said writer, we would have had a problem."
Society always says there is power in building people up and telling them they can do anything. I almost wonder if, at times, there is more power in telling people they can't do something. Since that moment in that councilors office, I have had some desire to become a writer. Not enough to change my engineering career path, but somewhere in the back of my mind, I wanted to be able to walk in that office and say, "I'm a writer." Of course, that wouldn't do much good since she probably hasn't been sitting in there for the last 16 years. And I have the sneaky suspicion this moment had more impact on me than her, so she may not recall the conversation.
Well today, in a small way, is that day. I was published in a small town paper. I know not a huge deal, but baby steps. Here is the link:
Hope you enjoy.