So Mom, tell me the stories about my history

I’m one of the lucky ones. When I was 10 years old, I decided I wanted to become a writer because I was more excited by writing essays than watching TV after school. I followed a traditional path, filling dozens of journals, writing for school newspapers and yearbooks, earning a degree in journalism. In May 2005, I entered the field of my dreams. Even as my pen earns my paycheck, I fill free time with writing and reading.

My parents always encouraged and embraced my love of words; I learned to read at age 4, and I’m convinced that was in part because of how much my mom reads. I’ve read myself to sleep nearly every night since (with music, my other great love, playing in the background). Their affirmation has come without regard for higher-paying careers, and in spite of my mom’s long-held fear that my career will carry me to New York City. (Daddy still hopes I’ll write the Great American Novel and fund his retirement. I’ll join him in that dream!)

I thought of this today as I read “So Your Child Wants to Be a Poet,” an entry in the New Yorker’s book blog, The Book Bench. One of my sisters–who fulfilled Mom’s fears years ago with her move to NYC–and I recently agreed that we hit the parent jackpot. Not every child does. I’m grateful for parents whose love and support continue to enable me to chase my dreams.

Today’s subject line comes from “Kankakee” by Andrew Osenga.

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Filed under Autobiography, Journalism, Reasons why

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