I consider myself lucky, because I hold the solution to a problem that most kids my age still struggle with. Many of my friends are still unsure what they want to do with their lives. Fortunately for me, I've had my mind made up for a long time. I want to be a writer, a writer for a newspaper or magazine.
It wasn't always this cut and dry. When I was six, I thought I had my mind made up too. I wanted to be a television chef with my own cooking show. One of my personal favorites was "Yan Can Cook." The flashing knife blades and words like saut" fascinated me like a crowd at the fireworks. That was my future, I'd be the next "Frugal Gourmet"! After a few years, I came to the realization that I had no culinary abilities at all (if I remember correctly, flaming cookies were somehow involved). I was watching TV again, and the weather was on. Why not meteorology? After a chance meeting with the television weatherman, that became my next dream job. I went all out this time. The junior weather set, maps, thermometers all found their way under my Christmas tree. My room became its own little analysis area, but I used to call it the "forecast center." For a while, I kept up my studies. I can remember when Hurricane Bob flew through New England, and there I stood with the Weather Channel on (until we lost power) charting the storm's progress. I was sure that this was "the one," my life would unfold on the six o'clock news. Until the seventh grade, I held onto my visions of stormy days and the foretelling of them.
This was when everything changed. I had to write a paper for English class - the schooltime classic - "How I Spent my Summer Vacation." I did it, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. However when I handed it in, it got quite a response (and not because "golfing a lot" was the most interesting topic in the world). The teacher told me "it was the best writing he had seen in a long time." I couldn't believe it, was this my hidden talent? I began to read more newspapers and magazines, and noticed a trend. Comments on things I would have written the piece differently had I been the writer began to surface. This kept happening, and I thought maybe it was time I threw my hat in the journalism ring.
The rest, I suppose, is history. Now I write for the school newspaper, and I love every minute. The exposure, the expression, and the fun of semicolons are just a part. The way my dry wit could influence those around me leaves me both proud and in awe at the same time. Who knows, maybe one day I'll end up writing about cooking, in bad weather no less. -
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.