Friday, September 26, 2008

When you were little ...

What did you want to be when you grew up? Despite this picture when I was five, I never wanted to be a cowgirl when I was little. I remember this day. Someone knocked on our door and when we looked out, there stood a man with a black & white pony. The pony's name was Popcorn. Somewhere in my albums I have a picture where you can actually see Popcorn. The man was going door-to-door taking portraits of children. My mom said it would be okay. The next thing I know, there I am, sitting on Popcorn while this goofy man tried to get me to smile. Things were more relaxed in the 70s. I don't know if I'd let my kids get on some strange horse for a picture today. It turned out okay and I got some cool Cowgirl Rena pictures.

When I was little I really wanted to be a veterinarian. I loved animals and I had all sorts of pets as a kid. One of our neighbors was a vet and I thought it would be a great job. As time went by, I lost interest in it. In high school, I got so into The Who that I didn't care about anything else. As soon as I graduated, I worked in local hospitals in housekeeping and laundry, so I could earn money to travel to England. I had friends who were into The Who and we were planning a big trip there. I met Rick in 1981, though we didn't get married until 1988. After I met him, I lost interest of getting some big career. He was going to pre-med school to be a doctor, so I figured why worry about going to college myself. I still joke about him telling me he was going to be a doctor only to become a cop for 20+ years. I still complain it was false advertising, but in reality, it was probably best for us. Right before I got married I worked in a pet emergency clinic as a vet assistant and loved it. Working with animals was awesome, but it made me realize how hard it was for vets. They work literally all the time, have huge overhead and liability and they rarely get time off. The time I worked there was great and probably one of the best jobs I ever had. Eventually, I got married and had children. I pretty much went into mommy-mode from then on. It wasn't until maybe five years ago that I decided to write my first children's book. I never set out to be an author. I simply had an idea for a story and went with it.

I had other jobs too, but nothing spectacular. Just the usual ones like a store cashier, deli worker, hospital receptionist and a brief stint as a full-charge bookkeeper. I did not like that job. People don't react too kindly when you make a mistake on their paycheck, for some odd reason. And most of the time the mistake was their fault, not mine. That job sucked. My very first job ever was laughable. I went in not knowing what the job was, only to have some moron sit me down in front of a telephone. No training, no explanation, no nothing. No way was I going to be a telemarketer! I got up and walked out the door, not saying a word. Now of course, I'm trying to balance being a wife, mom, home educator and a writer at the same time. Some days it's great and other days it's crazy. I'm in my 40s now and still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Well, with the exception of maybe Jessica Rabbit. That dame has everything ...


  1. Jessica Rabbit! She does have it all. I love that line which goes something like, "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way."

    I wanted to be so many different things when I was kid it makes my head spin. A nurse, a cartographer, an archeologist, a nun (I was frustrated I had to be Catholic to become a Poor Claire,) a kindergarten teacher, a singer/songwriter (people said I sounded like Joan Baez which irriated me because I didn't care for and don't have her vabrato,) an historian, an artist (or something to do with artwork and/or crafts)...

    Two things seemed to weave themselves into my life from an early age. I seemed to have a "gift" working with children (I had a monopoly on the babysitting business in my neighborhood. Made good money for the '60's) and writing.

    But it wasn't until I was 30 that the two came together at which time I started working at a home for abused, neglected and emotionally disturbed children, eventually inheriting the job of assistant newsletter editor. I worked at the home for 23 years and loved every moment I had with the kids, even the bad moments...and I tell you, there were some bad ones.

    And now I'm "retired" and I get pursue the one thing I've done longer than anything else and that's writing. I get to write to my heart's content.

  2. I wanted to be Indiana Jones. (and still kind of want that now.)


    An olympic ice skater.

  3. I know the feeling all too well! I've been a bit of a Jack-of-all-trades, although most of my jobs have been somehow related to art. And I think every girl dreams of being a veterinarian, at least for a while. My daughter is still in that phase, but I see her beginning to have second thoughts.
    I think for a while I wanted to be the Bionic Woman, or at least have very long hair like hers :)

  4. when I was in school the teachers all told me I should be a lawyer...because I like to debate things...grin...

    I wanted to be an in Charlie's Angels...that had to be the coolest job bad hair clothes and to catch the bad guys...but back then I think my halo may have had a couple of horns on it...grin...

    I always pictured Charlie saying, "Good morning Angels and you little devil you..." grin...

  5. Bish -- That's a really cool story about you working with abused children. That has to be one of the hardest things to do. My MIL teaches for children like that and it can get tough, and rough!

    CR -- Love the thought of being Indiana Jones. He has the coolest job ever. My six-year-old is dressing up as him for Halloween this year. All he needs is the whip. They have one that plays the theme song, but it's $20 -- eeek.

    Adrienne -- The Bionic Woman, really? People laugh when I mention my hometown in CA and all they remember about Ojai is that TV show. Remember the sounds they played when they moved around -- ching, ching, ching, ching ... LOL!

    Brenda -- LOL @ one of Charlie's Angels. What a sight WE would be! Jessica Rabbit, Indiana Jones, the Bionic Woman, Charlie's Angels. LOLOL!

  6. Oh, how I wanted to be a Charlie's Angel. Sabrina, the smart one, of course.

    Later I wanted to be Madonna. That lasted a while.

    Always, though, I was going to be a teacher or a writer. Which is nice to think about now.

  7. Look how cute you are!! I wanted to be a member of The Archies! bwahahaha

  8. wow, weird music here.... I wanted to be a vet too, but would never have got the marks to get into it, you need to be top of the class, same entry pass as a doctor...

    I have also been a vet nurse..., worked in hospital as housekeeping and laundry... store clerk (checkout chick)... some bookeeping, wrote for a newspaper, sales, insurance and now admin...

  9. In my diary, I wrote I wanted to be a veterinarian, singer, teacher, actress, or pet store lady!
    I became a teacher, was an extra on a few television shows, sang karaoke, and I take my pets to the vet and pet store...So I somewhat reached my childhood goals;0)

  10. Cute pic of lil Rena by the way!!!

  11. Between Jacqui wanting to be Madonna and Nancy wanting to be in the Archies, we'd have quite a group there. It sounds like Dee & I had a lot of the same jobs.

    Kelly -- that's really cool you were an extra on some TV shows. We have a few friends who do that. One was in the newest Indiana Jones movie and the other was in the "Last Crusade" one. Fun stuff.

  12. Rena,

    I'm behind obviously. You have such fun postings on this blog. I always wanted to go in the medical field but didn't want to be a doctor or nurse, nor did I want to be a secretary but I wanted to type - I loved typing. So I figured I'd be either a laboratory technician or physician's assistant (don't know - they have to go to school just as long, do everything a doctor does except (someone told me back then, I think but now it's not this way) write prescriptions and they got better places to work in - hahaha- how naive was I then). When I got into college I was taking all the courses geared for laboratory tech and didn't do so well in calculus (although I could have continued in algebra courses and been fine) and so changed my major. When I lived at my grandmother's house (was living there until they decided to sell her house right before they put her in a nursing home), I attended college to be a fashion designer (I liked to sew but wasn't really creative - only attended one semester/quarter or whatever the length of courses was).

    I finally settled on a degree for medical secretary with a minor in word processing since I loved typing and doing things on the computer (which was just coming along to be the new wave of things). With that degree I became a medical transcriptionist after many temp jobs and several long-term jobs - all in the medically related field somewhat - I worked in the insurance company requesting medical records for claims that were rejected by the system for possible pre-existing conditions, I worked at the health department as the WIC clerk and had some other temp jobs between until I landed my first transcription position. And I'm still here today - loving it most days.

    Writing - I didn't know I wanted to be a writer until I was challenged to enter a contest - and here I am today - published and still working - lol -

    Thanks for sharing with us - E :)