Monday, January 29, 2007

Had we but world enough, and time

For you careful MRMR blog readers out there, you know a few weeks ago we went to visit our youngest daughter in Boston. Forgive me for a minute for bragging about her (and eventually you’ll probably read a bit about her siblings, too, but I won’t overwhelm you today with the depth and breadth of my maternal pride. And yeah, this is going to sound like one of those insufferable Christmas newsletters. Feel free to give me a virtual smack.).

She was valedictorian of her high school class, captained the basketball and tennis teams, went to college tuition-free and graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in anthropology and museum education. She’s tall, beautiful, artistic, has long, naturally curly hair, a stud in her nose and an Egyptian eye tattooed on the inside of her ankle (Nobody’s perfect.). She has the cutest studio apartment on earth for which she is paying more for rent than we do for our house. She’s juggling several interesting jobs and has her whole life ahead of her.

The visit got me thinking. What would I do if I could have a do-over on MY life? I have no complaints, mind you, and have had several interesting jobs myself since I got out of college. I believe most of you reading this would say you have ambition to be a published romance author. I know that’s what I’d like to add to my resume too, so let’s factor that out. I’m waving my magic wand. I’m the owner of a quirky antique/junk shop on a well-traveled street, with windows filled with sly, amusing and glittering treasures that stop people in their tracks. The store is called Magpie, of course. You can be anything. What would it be?

And…do we create our heroines to be who we aren’t? Will I one day be writing about my shop owner so I can live vicariously?

You will note an addition to the sidebar. I’ve added Maggie’s Manuscripts, where excerpts of my WIPs will be posted every now and then. Feel free to check them out and leave a comment. Or not.


Tessa Dare said...

Isn't it just the best when someone you love is also someone you admire?

When I start to feel old and tired and out of options at the age of 31, I think about my own parents. Man, those two were just waiting for us to get out of the house. Once we were in college, my dad started running marathons, my mom got her PhD, they bought a fixer-upper and did their own rewiring, etc. Amazing. My brother and I were really holding them back, I guess! ;)

Any year before this year, if I could have waved the magic wand, I would have wished to be a writer.
Really, that has always been my elusive dream life. And even though I'm not published yet, now I'm writing regularly, I have a wonderful support system courtesy of FanLit, and a fabulous husband working overtime to pay the bills while I chase after my dream. This is it, this is my wish. It's a bit less glamorous in actuality than in the fantasy, but that's ok.

terrio said...

I can't believe I forgot to check this yesterday. There are lots of personal things I would change if I had a do over. But I have my daughter and wouldn't if I undid some of those things so we'll let that go. (me? bitter? pshaw)

I would go through a regular four year college if I could do it over again. I went to a 2 year business school and lived in an apartment with other women who were out of school and working. I was in such a hurry to join the real world that I jumped right in with both feet. I now realize some of the things I missed.

I think I would also own a little shop all my own. It would of course have to sell books but other second hand antique like items would be wonderful. I like old things with character and I could troll flea markets for hours. So perhaps that would be nice. Then again, at 35, perhaps there is still time...LOL!

Lindsey said...

Like Tessa's parents, I think it's almost never too late to do what you really want to do. So in my alternate reality, I'd have to do something that isn't something I care enough about to do in this lifetime (because I'm still going to do all those things!). Which isn't actually that hard to imagine - I have wide and varied interests!

I would maybe go for a math or science-oriented career. I was really good at these subjects when I was young, but several years of inept teachers drove me away from them and into the humanities. I have a very logical, analytical mind, so I sometimes wish I'd kept up with those fields. I think I might have liked being an engineer - maybe a traffic engineer!

lacey kaye said...

I don't know if I just don't have enough imagination or what! I have trouble with my right-brained side because I know most jobs won't pay well enough to keep me out of debt. And I'm pretty terrified of debt. But I guess I'd love to be a writer and sit at home all day. Yep, that would be fab.

Lenora Bell said...

Hi Maggie--I just added you to my blog contacts. I don't know why I never found you before. I'm ChinaGirl from FanLit.

Your daughter sounds like an amazing and accomplished woman. Congratulations!

For years my dream was to own my own vintage clothing store. I collected clothing, hats, gloves, costume jewelry--enough to fill a whole basement--and I sold at fleamarkets, but I never got around to writing that business plan, getting that loan and going for it. It was going to be called Vamp Vintage (that was back before Vamp was a MAC lip color...)

I still dress all my friends for Halloween, but I've given up that dream in favor of romance writing.

You described Magpie so well that I could imagine it vividly. It sounds like the kind of store that always pulls me in.

So who knows? Maybe we can be writers and sellers of treasures, too...

nearhere said...

You're daughter sounds amazing Maggie!

I'm still at that point in life where it doesn't seem to unfeasable to wave the wand and try something else. With a few exceptions. I remember realizing not too long ago that if I wanted to pursue dreams of becoming an investment banker or a medical doctor, it was probably pretty late and that I'd missed that boat. Fortunately, these careers aren't yearnings of mine so I'll continue sitting with what I am for the moment.

And Tessa I so agree with you about people who seem to really live their lives when they get some years behind them. My grandmother has had many careers since she retired including opening a bookstore and getting a PhD in her 80s.

So I'd like to think that there's plenty of time to ty different things.

Great Blog Maggie!!