Recently, I went window shopping for a wedding dress with my daughter. We didn’t go to buy a dress, but simply to browse the gowns and get a feel for what styles she liked. If you’ve ever been in a wedding dress shop, you know that you can get lost in the dresses. They are so full and thick and all “gently” mashed together on racks that there isn’t a path through the store. A jungle comes to mind in which you have to chop your way through with a machete.
But of course we weren’t going to chop our way through the gorgeous dresses with lace and beads in every shade of white. Who knew white had so many shades, right? Then we were sent away with a bag of goodies that included wedding dress magazines and directed to the website with more wedding dresses to choose from that we could order. If we order a dress, we have to wait four months. A person could get overwhelmed with the choices.
Seeing the creativity and thought put into every imaginable skirt and design inspired me to the core, and reminded me that designing wedding dresses, or owning a wedding dress store, or becoming a wedding planner had been on my list of things I might want to be when I grew up. Anything at all related to weddings. Just one look at the bride-to-be on the dais trying on her gown brought tears to my eyes. At one point during my life I took cake decorating classes so I could make wedding cakes. See what I mean?
But that was just one of the many things I dreamed of becoming. Here are a few others: marine biologist, astronaut, cellist in the orchestra, travel writer, work for the CIA or FBI, computer programmer. Some of these aren’t necessarily dreams as much as the reality of getting a paying job that I would enjoy. That’s not the complete list, but it’s a good start on my dreams and plans. Maybe I’m a little too eclectic in my thinking. My interests are both creative and technical. I love both science and art.
One of my dreams revolved around my love affair with reading. I wanted to do anything at all that involved the publishing industry. At one time I listed my business to type manuscripts in the back of Writer’s Digest Magazine. Back then, you could find pages listed with people in different states that would do that for you, and I was one of them. Times have certainly changed, considering that most writers I know type their own manuscripts into their computer. I wanted to do anything at all that would get me involved in the writing process because I loved words so much. I called that business, All About Words. Kind of sounds boring, but the title sums it up.
I never dreamed that I would actually be writing novels myself one day, though I wanted to be a writer. Plus, my novels can be about characters that do all the other things I wanted to do in life but never had the chance. I’d love to hear your list of things you dreamed of doing when you were growing up, and maybe even still dream about doing one day!
Elizabeth Goddard is the award-winning author of more than a dozen novels, and she’s counting down the days until Oregon Outback releases on July 1st.