I had always supposed that as I aged that I’d become more focused.  From an early age, people ask you what you want to be when you grow up.  Kids have no hesitation listing fun and exotic occupations.  When my oldest son was around 4 years old, someone asked if he wanted to be a father one day. He adamantly denied it saying he was going to be a mailman instead. He’s not a mailman but he isn’t a father either. That boy knew his mind early on.  Once you reach the end of high school, the questions become about your plans. College? Job? Military? Even then, we’re allowed growing room. “Oh, you’re too young to know what you want to do for the rest of your life. Take your time.” If you do go to college, the next query is “What’s your major?” At this point, the questions never stop coming. Of course, the inevitable questions about children follow. And so it goes.

I’ve finally reached the point in my life where no one expects me to do anything, well, exciting. That makes it all the more fun when I get the chance to talk about my activities. When asked what I do, meaning as a job, I answer briefly because it’s just an office job. Then I tell them all of my interests. Playwright, composer, performer, storyteller, poet, author, chanter of Torah and so on.  I love the look on their faces.  Granted, I didn’t do any of these until my fifties and each new one surprises me as much as anyone else. There are times when I wish I concentrated on one thing so that I could become expert at it. I worry that by diversifying my creative energy, I’m somehow shortchanging myself. Happily, I’m enjoying myself and wait with eager anticipation for the next song, story or blog to blossom.

About Julie Brandon

60ish poet/playwright/blogger living near the Windy City
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