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When I was young, I spent a great deal of time living in the realm of my imagination. Lying in the field close to the cramped quarters in the country where my family of six lived, every cloud above me was an object of interest. As I lay in the field grass, becoming itchy, and acquiring a fanciful red rash, which I blissfully ignored, I never considered growing up and becoming anything other than a young girl, chewing on clover like the nearby rabbits. I created stories in my mind around the shapes of passing clouds in a clear blue sky. I gathered silk from the corn in the field, colored it purplish-pink using crushed mulberries, then hung it from trees and bushes I liked to hide in and around. I rambled around an old deserted mill, playing a pirate or a spy; I was Nancy Drew, or Captain Hook (albeit a female version), and there were clues to be found in every nook and cranny of that old deserted mill, and many who walked the plank, mainly the mice who scurried out of my path.

Age descends on all, swift as the changing seasons, bringing with it realities we do not visit in our childish imaginations. Realities like school and work. I loved school, and education was exciting for me. I loved to learn new and exciting things beyond my field of clover and blue skies, but I never quite learned how to stop talking and telling stories. The first few years of my early grade-school reports never failed to reveal those big red X's across a blank line on the report where the teacher wrote in, "Talks to much." As I progressed into the second year of school, making good marks despite my talkative nature, and writing stories using those huge bulky pencils, I discovered I could put my imagination into words using a piece of paper. Scribing within the large allotted spaces of the writing pads used, and my second grade teacher would occasionally read a few of my imaginings aloud to the class during rest period. Rest period was a short time where we had to rest our heads on folded arms atop the tables where we sat, we did not get to graduate to individual seats with those wonderful storage areas under the seat until we reached the third grade.

I finished school with the knowledge that I had no idea what I really wanted to be. Occupations in my area for those like me who could not afford higher education were, for the most part, relegated to the receptionists, secretaries, laundry aides in nursing homes, nurses, sewing machine operators, poultry house workers, or babysitting. I was not interested in any of these, though I tried my hand at quite a few of them. I wanted to be something when I grew up, and I wanted to be a writer. Becoming a writer, or an artist, or a musician were fantasy occupations, and my parents pushed toward a more lucrative choice for me, one that would pay my bills. I needed to self-educate myself; the dollars were beyond what my parents could afford, so I have been educating myself to be something for nearly forty years now.

I have spent most of working adulthood in occupations such as secretary, administrative office worker, sales assistant, and on to computer related occupations where I became quite good at learning new software programs, installing and troubleshooting, training and writing documentation and creating and modifying reports using various databases. Still, I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. I like to joke I'd love to sit on a sidewalk somewhere with flowers in my hair as I create beautiful pottery, but the real thing, the one true thing I dream of being when I grow up is a writer. Writing is hard work, it takes effort, it takes thought, it takes some intelligence, and it takes the imagination of a child who lies in a field, chewing on clover with the rabbits. Oh yes, it also takes the cliché' of having tail to chair. The rabbit is practicing.

Learn more about this author, KB Chase.

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