Caitlin Rickard's column: Wishing to be a fish becomes fishing for a wish

When I was younger growing up in Florence, Ala., I remember being so sure about one thing: I had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up. I mean who does? As I got older not only did those feelings not go away, they planted a seed inside of me that had me convinced I had some sort of pred...
Jul 18, 2013

When I was younger growing up in Florence, Ala., I remember being so sure about one thing: I had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up. I mean who does? As I got older not only did those feelings not go away, they planted a seed inside of me that had me convinced I had some sort of predisposition for immaturity. I figured when the future got here, surely it would slow down and wait on me to grow up before speeding by right before my eyes.

I’ve always been an extremely athletic and active person, mediocre at math, not-so-good at science, and borderline terrible at anything artsy. I love pizza, red carpet season, the Atlanta Braves and Alabama football, anything with Amy Poehler in it, conspiracy theories, New York City and writing.

In the third grade, I had notebooks I would carry around with me constantly, filling them with thoughts from my overactive imagination. I would force family and friends to sit through my readings as if I were an established author. I wrote anything from ghost stories to songs and even won a writing contest for my poem, “I Wish I Were A Fish.”

I never thought twice about these journals. In my mind doing something you actually enjoyed couldn’t possibly be a career path. So when I entered college at the University of Alabama with an undecided major, I knew it was time to finally grow up and choose what I want to do with my life.

After struggling to adjust to college and shadowing my friends as those chose careers paths, such as biology, pharmacy, law and teaching, I realized that they were choosing based on their passions and competence. That’s when I decided I would do the same, and though I may not be a doctor or a lawyer, I know spending my life doing something I take pleasure in would benefit me way more than a law degree.

Now, at 22 years old, I realize that the future has been with me all along. Inside those old journals I used to keep in my room and drag with me everywhere I went sat the future and what I was meant to be doing with my life. I love writing and telling stories, especially stories that normally wouldn’t get told.

The future used to be such an indefinite and hypothetical place where your dreams were enough to get you to the next day. Now that the future is here and I have welcomed it with open arms, I’m more certain than ever of what makes me most happy. Finally I am getting to live my dreams and do something I genuinely enjoy doing everyday. I’m thankful to be at this place in my life, and it all happened because I once wished I could be a fish.

Caitlin Rickard is a new staff writer with The Democrat. Email her at crickard@lebanondemocrat.com   or follow her on Twitter @wilsonnewswritr.

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