Sunday, April 15, 2012

Reader Questions & Answers #9

On Sundays, I will answer some readers' questions in a post. If you have a question that you would like me to answer here on the blog, just send me an e-mail with the subject "Q&A", and I may include them in a future Q&A post. They don't have to be about weight loss or running--anything is game!  (Remember, I'm not a doctor or dietician, or any sort of medical professional--I can only answer questions from my own experience).

Q. Why don't you and Jerry attend church with the boys and your parents?

A. I've gone to church many times (at many different churches) and almost always, I'm glad that I went. But getting the motivation to go is the hard part--I guess this is kind of like running, in that sense! I believe in God, and I pray daily. But going to church feels strange to me. I don't like any attention on me, and every time I've gone, the pastor or other church members kind of make a big deal about it to make me feel welcome. I wish I could just sneak in and sit in the back and leave when it's over. But my parents are very involved in the church, and they make a big ta-da about it when I go. I really like the pastor and his wife, and I got to know them pretty well a few years ago. They had just moved here and they didn't have a house yet. My parents let the new pastor and his wife live with them for a few months until they found a house. 


So the fact that I don't go to church isn't so much about the church itself, or the people there. It's just that I don't like it being a big production when I go. I realize that if I went every week, it wouldn't be such a big deal. And I keep telling myself that I'll go next week. Because of Jerry's work schedule, he is only able to go 2 out of every 6 weeks, so I'll have to go alone or with my parents. But I really do want to try and start going regularly.


Q. How is the debt payback going? Are you making billions on your blog yet?!


A. We're making some progress--slowly but surely. I actually didn't earn a single penny from my blog until February of this year. I finally found an ad company I was happy with (much thanks to Cathy at Fabulessly Frugal). And then I was accepted into the BlogHer advertising program, which has been fantastic. Between the ads and being an Amazon affiliate, I'm not making a TON of money--but I make about the same as I would working a part-time minimum wage job. (Although, if I calculated the amount of hours per week I spend blogging and responding to e-mails, I'm working for MUCH less than minimum wage, haha). 


My plan from the beginning has been to use any money that I make from blogging on debt repayment. I have credit card debt and the debt from my surgery to pay back. I've been continuing to make regular payments from Jerry's checks, but now that I'm earning a little from blogging, that is just extra money to pay toward the principal. Since I LOVE blogging, it works out well :) 


We've already been living pretty frugally, so there isn't much to cut back on. Our credit card debt was acquired a few years ago when the economy crashed--Jerry's job cut hours big time, and we had to pay for a LOT of things with our credit card. I was working from home for a gynecologist up until August 2010, when they let me go (the work I was doing was temporary, and lasted me about 5 years). We were barely getting by, but we managed not to acquire any more debt. Thankfully, Jerry's hours are back to normal now, so we're digging our way out of debt. If all goes well, I'm hoping we'll be debt-free in about five years.


Q. Did you attend college?


What's not to like about college?
A. Yes, I did. I graduated high school in 2000, and I started college that fall. I went to Eastern Michigan University. My original major was psychology, but when I realized I wouldn't be able to do much with a bachelor's degree in psych, I kind of veered off course. I went to EMU for two years, and I lived in a dorm with my long-time best friend Sarah (the Sarah who now lives in Arizona). 

I had SO MUCH FUN those two years, but I had no idea what I wanted to do with my major. So I moved back home and started going to community college--just a one-year medical assistant program. When I was halfway through, they canceled the program. I really felt hopeless then. I applied for a dietetics program, and was accepted to that. However, I got married in August 2003, and about a week after school started, I decided to drop out. I wasn't enthusiastic about any of it, and it was a lot of money to pay for something that I didn't really want to do. 


I don't have any desire to go back to school. It's funny, though. My mom always said (while I was growing up) that I would one day be a writer. I loved to write, and creative writing was always my best subject. She insisted I go to college, so I did. But now I'm home and writing, and I love it! I don't know that I'm considered a "writer" since all I write is this blog; but I do have hopes of a memoir one day :)



And now a question for all of YOU...


What did you always want to be when you grew up? Did you actually end up doing it?


I always wanted to be a writer, but since that "wasn't realistic", I didn't pursue it.

56 comments:

  1. Great Q&A!

    I wanted to be a cosmetologist or meteorologist. (Now there are 2 ends of the spectrum!) Yet I went to school to be a DJ. Go figure!

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  2. I love your Q&A's!
    I wanted to be a Vet when I was younger. I did not go into that field, but I am studying to be a Physicians Assistant. I love the medical field and, sadly, I like the smell of a hospital.
    I have often too been told I should be a writer. I am just not that into it and I don't feel I have the time.

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  3. I wanted to be a fashion designer, but like you... I decided it wasn't practical enough and didn't go for it. Now I do medical billing and I absolutely hate it.

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  4. I wanted to be a cosmetologist from the time I was 4. My mom wanted me to go to college so I could have a "real" job. I went to college to be a Medical Assistant and learned that drawing blood or giving shots caused me to faint. I am now a stay at home mom. And I love it.

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  5. I wanted to be a choir teacher - then I realized I don't like kids....

    Next plan was vet tech. Life happened and that fell through - years later I find myself working in an animal shelter, so I still ended up back with animals!

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  6. I have wanted to be many things...but didn't do any of them for various reasons. I wouldn't make enough money, mom didn't approve, etc. So now I am working as a Chemist for a pharmaceutical company and I have a degree in Biology!

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  7. I wanted to be a singer when I was a kid. I went to college for Music Therapy (I'm not quite finished, I'll complete it some day)and was classically trained as a mezzo soprano. Right now I'm a stay at home Mom, but I have been paid to sing at a few weddings - I guess that makes me a singer!

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  8. When I was a little girl I wanted to be a pediatrician and a hairdresser on the weekends and of course a solid gold dancer (you may not even know what solid gold is). Anyhow, I didn't become any of these. I went to school the first time for travel and couldn't get into the field, they all wanted me to intern for free and I was married and had to have income, so I became an admin assistant and that's what I have been until I got laid off in August. Lately I've been getting into baking, and toying with the idea of starting my own bakery with my cousins wife.

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    1. I LOVED Solid Gold! Didn't EVERYONE want to be a Solid Gold dancer?! :-)

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  9. Yay, Q&A :D I love that you did what you wanted to do, & followed your heart. Blogging is most definitely writing! :)

    Like a few other commentors, I wanted to be a vet, but ended up working in reception/admin for 8 years as I struggled with science at school, my top subjects were english & computer studies. However, I left my admin job in 2010 (aged 26) & went to uni to try & get into vet school. I am still working towards getting in, as it's very competitive, so I'm studying zoology & physiology at the moment. It's exciting to have a change in career path, & while science still doesn't come naturally to me I know if I work hard I can achieve the marks I want (I got an A- average last semester).

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  10. Ever since I was young, I wanted to be a doctor. From about age 10, I had my heart set on working for the CDC as a virologist. My dream was to work for Biohazard level 4 -- with viruses like Ebola and Hanta. Instead, I somehow became a teacher, where I work with germ monkeys of a totally different kind! :)

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  11. I wanted to be an RN or a Nurse of some sort. Somewhere along the line I ended up in a Web Design Program my first year of college. I did well, even! However, It wasn't what I really wanted to do. I instead went to a small private college and became a Medical Assistant and I LOVE it. In my office I have moved up to Surgical Coordinator... Strange how life works but it all came back to medical.

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  12. I wanted to be a writer too. Or a journalist or an artist. But I was told repeatedly that trying to make money doing those things was a pipe dream like a kid saying they wanted to be a celebrity or a famous athlete. So I never went to college because I wasn't interested in anything else.

    Now at almost 31 I am in the works to get into school this fall. After my youngest was born almost 3 years ago I realized I would love to help breastfeeding women so I hope to become a certified lactation consultant someday.

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  13. From the time I was in second grade to seventh grade, I wanted to be a teacher. In high school, I dabbled with the idea of doing something related to engineering, math, or writing. My freshman year of college, I was a political science major before ultimately changing to elementary education, bringing me full circle! :)

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  14. Love your Q&A's too. I wanted to be a princess. Ha ha. I always loved performing and wanted to do that. I don't know how specifically but I wanted to entertain people. I did it in high school and college but was so self-conscious it became too uncomfortable.
    I always wrote little stories. My Mom thinks I should be a blogger but she's the only one who reads my blog, and I don't update it daily or anything! Lol.
    Then in high school I wanted to be a psychologist. Got my B.S. in Behavioral Science. I worked in a treatment center for girls and couldn't stand it! So I'm still trying to figure out my dream career. Right now I'm a stay at home Mom with a teenager and a preschooler. Oh. Boy.

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  15. i wanted to be a doctor...instead i became a reality tv editor and then an entertainment attorney...and then a sahm! i have published two books and i write my little blog, so i guess i am a writer, too. but not a doctor. ;-)

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  16. I have always wanted to be a mommy and a special education teacher... and I have been a mommy for 6 years and a teacher for 5 years. I love both. I feel blessed each day!

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  17. ever since high school i wanted to do something in accounting (but not be an accountant). but at my old job i was a senior report writer for a biotechnology corporation (this was putting the results of testing into a readable format for the client). then i was laid off in 2009.
    i had gone to school for financial management while working full time. graduated in 2007. so now i am an office manager and accounting assistant, so i do the HR stuff, the payroll and the accounting (like printing invoices and reconciling bank statements) and i love the job. so i guess it is somewhat related to my major. :)
    -lessoff

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  18. My school story is sort of similar to yours; my first jaunt into college was for theatre though. When I was little I wanted to be a firefighter, model, actress, writer, and an architect. Keyword being "and". Not "or". ;)

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  19. I wanted to be Vanna White, an actress, a teach, an orthodontist, and just about everything else. I ended up joining the Air Force instead and 14 years later, I am still here.

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  20. I always knew I wanted to be a Mechanical Engineer designing car parts - I grew up in an engineering family and even though I am girly, I knew it was what I was supposed to do. I have worked as an Airbag/Seatbelt engineer for several years, but as of last year I quit work to be at home with our 3 boys as it didn't make sense financially. Being home has been great though - have lost 22lbs so far and working into running a 5k in May

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  21. Kimberly - teachpsychsocApril 15, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Yes.... and no.

    In my first life (as I tell my students....) I was an RN. My Mom was nurse for 44 years before she retired and it ws really more her dream than mine to be an RN. Don't get me wrong.... I loved it, every single day of it for 12 years. But I always knew I wouldn't do it forever.... because I always felt/feel life is just too short to have one job for your entire life.

    I went to grad school and kind of fell into teaching as a grad assistant. I've been doing this for 12 years now... nd have loved every day. But ( like I tell my students... ), I want do it forever... still have other things on my "to be list" !

    One day I want to own a resturant and be a dump truck driver ! This makes my Mom just scream ! "Kimberly, you're a Duke educated Ph.D, they don't drive dump trucks !!!!!"

    Well.... I could be the first one :)

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  22. I wanted to be an astronaut! I didn't do that, but I did end up working at NASA as an engineer. I didn't like that though, so I went back to school for a second bachelor's degree in nursing, and I like that so much more.

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  23. I always wanted to be a teacher. Then more specifically an Agriculture Teacher. I wanted to educate the public about agriculture and farmers and so on... And proud to admit: I got accepted into the University of Florida's College of Agriculture for this summer... and my major: Agriculture Education!

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  24. I always wanted to be a teacher and was constantly roping other kids into playing school with me. I have taught for 14 years and I still love it.

    I took 7 years off when I stayed home with my two kiddos and loved that too! Now I am going to grad school to become an administrator, which I definitely didn't see coming!

    I am a big believer in finding a job you love. But it can be hard when you are 18 and don't know what you want. I was fortunate in that I always knew. :)

    Love your question Katie!!

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  25. Sadly, my parents raised me and my sisters without invoking any aspirations or expectations in us. They use cared about us kids graduating high school, and after that we were on our own. And if I felt proud of some small accomplishment, then my mother would be certain to quickly let me know, "don't get a big head and feel all high and mighty." Nice uh? Anyway, I had no childhood dreams of what I wanted to do as an adult career wise, but I do love my job and hope to always have it until I retire. My career choice could have been much better if I had supportive parents, but all in all, things are okay...and I know people in much worse situations/jobs.

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  26. * "They just cared about us kids graduating high school..."

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  27. I wanted to be a cheerleader. :) As I got older, I wanted to be a lawyer, a doctor or a writer. By college, I decided I wanted to be a social worker. I actually have my BA in Psychology and Human Services. Unfortunately, I don't like my job! I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, though I would still love to be a writer! I would also like to own a bakery, but $$ prohibits that. I've found that needing health insurance trumps anything else at this point. :(

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  28. I wanted to be a neurosurgeon! Now after working in the Emergency department and critical care I want to be a trauma doctor! However, I will hopefully be starting Nursing school in January. After I had my daughter I realized I couldn't work the hours a trauma doctor would have to! Right now I am a full time mommy and student! A mommy is always wanted I wanted to be since I was a first grader! :)

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  29. I wanted to be a vet, but couldn't get back past the needles. The blood and gore doesn't bother me and I don't mind getting shots (or piercings or tattoos), but I myself couldn't stick a needle in another living thing.
    Although when I was little we would go to Sam's a lot for groceries. I used to LOVE playing with the cash registers they sold there. It was always a dream of mine to be a cashier which I fulfilled with my first job of working at a grocery store. Even today when I am in the checkout lane I get all giddy at watching the cashiers. I love cash registers. :)

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  30. I wanted to be a scientist. I went to undergrad for anthropology, and then got a job working with monkeys for two years. I was a scientist alright... But then became interested in how the monkeys interacted with each other, and went to grad school and studied cultural anthropology (rather than physical like in undergrad). I wrote my thesis about teachers in low income schools, and was totally inspired by them, so for the last six years I have been teaching science to low income, high needs teenagers. I guess I am kind of a scientist, but more of a teacher. Not sure what my next step will be- teaching is emotionally draining! Might be looking for something slightly different...

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  31. I have LOVED photography since I was 10yrs old and won a camera. Sooo I always wanted to be a freelance photographer, half time for national geographic, and half time for sports illustrated (think of all the amazing men I would meet!!HA!!)

    In the real world I pursued a career as a court clerk... very interesting work... also very stressful. I'm happy to say I had the guts to quit a good career that wasn't a fit for me... I now drive seniors and handicapped people around to dr apts and special programs.. I now LOVE my job, it really suits me... not to mention, I make more money than at the court house!! Oh ya, I still photograph babies and weddings on occasion.

    Shelley

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  32. Since 5th grade, I wanted to work outside, something related to the environment. I got a BS in Forest Management which was perfect!! But I also had a secret ambition of becoming a business owner. Once I graduated and fell in love (with a guy who also had a BS in forest management but also the same secret ambition), I got married and we started a business. We've been business owners for 11 years now. It's a hard life (no security, no tangible benefits, no health insurance) but we love it. We work together, we're there every day for our 2 children, and we are *somewhat* in control of our own schedule. Now if we could just make a little more!

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  33. I'm a singer, not pro just a pro to my family and friends ; ) When I was little I ALWAYS wanted to be a "famous" singer and my plan B was to be a teacher. I ended up going to college for medical transcription but I didn't do anything with it. So I worked as a bank teller at a few different banks and then became a stay at home mom. I somehow ended up working for a non profit organization because of my volunteering experience with churches and then when the economy took a hit I was let go. I became a stay at home mom to my 2nd kiddo but last October I was hired as the executive director of our local Habitat for Humanity (the title sounds fancy but I only work semi-part time). It's weird how things work out but I feel like it's my dream job! I get to help other families in my community and I get to be a stay at home mom. Perfect! I'm glad you ended up being a writer! Your blog seems like my own little peace of sanity sometimes! Thanks! : )

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  34. I always wanted to be a mommy and have 8 kids (hubby and I have 6 kids!) and I always, always wanted to be a cake decorator/baker... and I accidentally ended up with a "business" 2 years ago, and now a baking/cake blog! I absolutely LOVE both of my "jobs" and dreams do come true!

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    1. I just checked out your blog, and you are VERY talented! Gorgeous cakes!

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  35. I have 2 "when I grow ups". What I wanted to be as a kid, and what I wanted to be when I was a little more realistic ;) As a kid I wanted to be a dentist! Then I got to college and studied education to be a kindergarten teacher. Then I switched my major to communications and loved it! My internships were in public relations and it was so fun! I couldn't find PR work in Seattle though, and now I live in Japan and don't speak enough Japanese. So I teach. But I would love to get into pr again someday.

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  36. I wrote in my first grade yearbook that I wanted to be a teacher so I could tell the kids off. I may yet become a teacher, but for now I'm an environmental manager for a construction company (just kinda landed in that job), and, as it turns out, you can be paid well for things you are passionate about! I still don't know what I want to "be" though. Every time I wind up in hospital I consider becoming a nurse...

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  37. This is why I love going to a big Catholic church- the only people taking attendance are my parents!

    I started college pre-med. I wanted to be a pediatrician. I took calculus in hs, but college-level calc was WAY harder. Biology and other required courses just killed me. Once I changed my major to Sociology and was taking classes like "The Sociology of Addiction" and "Psychosexual Diversity" I was hitting the Dean's List. Then I started dating Charlie. I was a 7 hour drive away from home and I missed him terribly. I took a leave of absence with 3 semesters left and never transferred anywhere like I promised my parents I would. I don't know what I would like to study now. I'm thinking of getting my teacher's assistant certification so I can work in a school district and still have the same schedule as my kids, since I think I'll be done with babysitting come September. I definitely need to work and make some money. Just $150-$200/week would be a huge blessing!

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  38. I wanted to be a teacher. I majored in Theater Education with the intention of teaching high school theater, but wasn't able to complete my final requirements (1 class + student teaching) due to needing to support hubby while he finished his own schooling and then having my first child. While I get a little melancholy about not yet having my degree, I no longer have any desire really to teach school. I have four kids of my own now and the idea of spending my days with a whole bunch of other peoples' kids doesn't appeal to me any more LOL. (I guess that attitude just goes to show that I probably wasn't actually cut out for a teaching calling to begin with.) I will still get a degree someday. I was way too close to finishing to not have something official to show for it.

    I've ended up being a mom (which I always hoped to be), a piano teacher (so yeah, there's a bit of that teaching bug still in me) and a scrapbook product designer (which still sort of makes me pinch myself some days. Me? An artist? Whatever!)

    PS I thought of you a whole lot while I was running my 5K this weekend! Thanks for inspiring me! I still have a LONG way to go with my weight goals but I'm so beyond thrilled to have reached one of my personal fitness goals which was to run a full 5K. I love having you to look at for inspiration that it CAN be done!! Mahalo! ~Angie
    http://droppingtheplus.blogspot.com/2012/04/edge-of-glory.html

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  39. I always wanted to be a doctor, but now I'm "just a nurse". haha.

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  40. I always wanted to be a Nurse. And I'm a Nurse now!

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  41. I wish I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I'm still trying to figure that out.

    Like you, I wanted to write, so I went into journalism in college. This was pre-Lou Grant and wasn't nearly as popular back then as it got a few years later, when TV glamorized the profession. I lasted in journalism a couple of semesters, then realized I would haev to spend a semester away from home at the end, doing an internship at a newspaper somewhere, and since I was head over heels with boyfriend (we got married right before my sophomore year in college), I didn't like that idea. Changed my major to elementary ed., but then when I graduated I couldn't get a teaching job around here. It's tough in a college town--still is I think. So fast forward to today, I'm finishing up a 35-year career as an admin. asst. at the college I attended. I'm under-employed (I think!) and definitely underpaid. I can't wait to retire!

    I think you really are a writer. You're making money from doing what you love and it doesn't get any better than that. Well I guess it could get better--if you could make LOTS of money doing what you love! I still have plans to write my weight loss story too--I cut out an article that was in the paper last week about e-publishing and how you can do that yourself.

    With retirement looming in the next few months, I'm pursuing that teaching thing I hoped to do 37 years ago after graduating from college. Last semester I took a college class to get my teaching certificate up to date. On Friday, I went to the district office and got the paperwork done and got my ID badge. I've been hired to do substitute teaching starting this Fall in our local school system. I'm excited and scared, but mostly scared. I figure it's never too late to pursue your dreams. But I never would have attempted this before I lost the weight.

    I'm going to be watching for that memoir you're going to write. It's going to be GREAT!

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  42. The only thing I ever really wanted to be was a Mama. When I was little, I wanted to be a stay at home Mama with 8 babies and when I was older I wanted to be a history professor Mama with 8 babies. I got my Master's in Colonial Women's History while working full time, and when I realized my current earnings were more than twice what my professors made, I gave it up. I'm now an office and procurement director, with one baby, and a stay at home husband who runs a small business(go figure!)

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  43. I have always wanted to be a writer, actually :) But I got a degree in Psychology knowing full well that it would be useless ;) It was simply the least torturous program in college since I abhor school of any kind. So now I design forms for an insurance company. And try to blog. Even if no one's reading, at least I'm writing :)

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  44. My parents always joke that when I was little I said my dream job was to work at a 7-11. I think it was for potentially unlimited slurpees. They are happy I didn't go that route (although would have supported any decision I made) and am now a civil engineer.

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  45. I wanted to be an artist,I even went to art school. Now I'm a stay at home mom. I haven't really made much "art" in the last few years aside from stuff for my own home. I'd love to do more. I sort of have a small desire to go back to school to do graphic design, but I dont think it would be worth the money.

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  46. Love your blog and just joined. I have been following and reading your blog for 2 months now. I know everyone says this, but your blog really is awesome. I love how you are so open about everything and very truthful! Thanks!

    Also, I wanted to be a dance teacher! I ended up going to college to study engineering! So far off!

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  47. I wanted to be a writer... and I am one! Well, technically, I'm a copywriter and I write about outdoor gear and sportswear and casual attire for a huge outdoor company (hellooooo discounts on running shoes and sports bras!)
    But, I wanted to write novels, so I guess I'm still on that path. It's nice to get paid for what my degree is in, though!

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  48. I wanted to be a writer/copy editor. I did it for a while, but then the economy crashed and I lost my job. I work in insurance now. It's a great company with awesome pay and benefits, but I really miss being creative.

    I went to EMU for my senior year of college. I love the Ann Arbor area! I lived there for several years.

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  49. Well, I wanted to be a journalist for a long time. I ended up changing my major in college 6 times before I decided to be a high school English teacher. I teach now, but hope to do something different in a few years. I have no clue what I want to do. I like the education field, and just finished my master's degree, but this job is mentally draining me after 7 years.

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  50. I wanted to be a crime scene investigator when I was like 10, then I wanted to be a professional photographer. For the last 10 year I have work as a front desk clerk at several hotels & I was just offered a management position. I do photography as a hobby.

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  51. I wanted to be a crime scene investigator when I was like 10, then I wanted to be a professional photographer. For the last 10 year I have work as a front desk clerk at several hotels & I was just offered a management position. I do photography as a hobby.

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  52. When I was little it always changed but through all of my teen years I wanted to be a Graphic Designer... I went to a "tech" school for 2 years during high school for it. Started Community College for it and dropped out because I got married and moved to Alaska.. then started the Art Institute for it and thought that school was a joke so I dropped out again.

    Oh yeah somewhere in there I dropped out of beauty school, too. I'm good at quitting things!

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  53. Hi Katie! You ARE a writer - and a great one! I am loving your blog. I always knew I wanted to do something with art growing up. I feel so blessed to be doing what I love - I am a Creative Director at a marketing company that I've been at for 12 years!

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  54. This blog is great. I want my teens to read it. You might start out wanting something and it changes depending on opportunities. The key for me has been working hard and keeping my eyes open.

    I wanted to be a teacher or an architect when I grew up. My parents just expected me to get married so didn't push the college thing. I started admin work at low pay at a computer company after HS and worked my way up (going to college at night) to be a computer instructor. I've been teaching 27 years now.

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)