It's a funny thing about the question, "What do I want to do when I grow up?" We ask it our entire lives! I certainly have!
Our passions are a curious part of our soul. They tend to stick with us. Many of them start when we're kids, and follow us around our entire lives. Sometimes we discover a passion later in life. I've experienced both.
I'm from the United States, and grew up in northern Wisconsin on a family dairy farm. As is typical of a farm, we always had lots of barn cats - about 20 to 30 of them at any given time. I played with kittens a lot, and as a result I love cats - and animals in general for that matter.
By the time I was in 8th grade, I visualized myself in two types of careers - business and writing. I liked art, too, but the rural schools I attended at the time did not have art.
My first career was in business. I started in various pink-collar jobs, finally decided to go to college, and ended up as a Project Coordinator in a bank. After awhile, my art passion called. I went back to school, became certified in art education, and worked as an elementary Art Teacher for Milwaukee Public Schools for 13 years. I couldn't forget business either, though, and simultaneously dabbled in various entrepreneurial endeavors part time.
No matter who you are, life always happens and things change. My husband got a job in Little Rock, Arkansas, so we moved. For awhile I worked giving presentations to school staff, but now I devote my time to writing, gardening, and volunteering. I've started my writing and illustrating endeavors with a children's picture book series, "Rattles, the Barn Cat." Hmmmm... Guess where that inspiration came from?
Remember I said that sometimes we discover a passion later in life? That happened to me in Little Rock. I discovered I loved gardening! The odd thing about this is that I hated gardening for most of my life. When I grew up, my mom had a huge garden, and as a kid I pulled a lot of weeds - not enticing! Now I do volunteer work for Master Gardeners and the Arkansas unit of The Herb Society of America (AUHSA), as well as have my own large garden. I'm the editor and write the newsletter for AUHSA, and include a variety of information columns in it. I've discovered I love both plants and animals!
This has all become a source of writing inspiration. I plan to continue the "Rattles, the Barn Cat" series, and also create some children's educational books on nature.
My two girls have grown into young adults, so my household now consists of my husband, three cats, and a dog. As I sit by my computer writing, I am usually accompanied by my cat, Rattles (the 2nd), who faithfully keeps purring me to inspiration.