8.26.2007

Life goals

Inspired by an article in today's New York Times, I've been thinking about life goals. Apparently I've always liked to list life goals, because I went back through some old journals today and found this list from Aug. 9, 1987--yes, a little more than twenty years ago. Here's what the 14-year-old Alison Piepmeier wanted:

to see Somewhere in Time, Casablanca, and My Fair Lady,
to be relatively well-versed in Greek,
to have a vast vocabulary,
to be very knowledgeable about acting and the theatre,
to have a published work, whether novel, short story, or poetry,
to buy (or acquire) the soundtrack from La Bamba,
to find my own kinds of fashion for the school year,
to be incredibly active in the theatre,
to discover more about myself and my religion,
to read classics,
to do well in school,
to be a friendly, outgoing person,
to uphold my own standards at all times,
to have a big part in Sleeping Beauty and to be Emily in Our Town,
to find a wonderful, special (tall) boy who thinks I'm wonderful and special, too.
I find this list simultaneously charming, humiliating, and hilarious. Note the snotty spelling of theater. Note the strange juxtapositions--the desire to be a published author butting right up against the desire to get the soundtrack from La Bamba. Why the hell did I start the list with Somewhere in Time? I don't even know what that is. And I feel a little heartbroken for 14-year-old me when I read the last item on the list--I was so desperate for a boyfriend, and a tall one, since I was already 5'10" at 14 and not only did I loom over most of the available boys, but how much of a hot property do you think I was as an enormous, big-haired girl in rural Tennessee who wanted to be relatively well-versed in Greek?

And yet some of the paths my life would follow were already forming. I knew I wanted to write--hell, I knew I wanted to write by age 8. One of the high points of my life came in 2003, when Biffle called me at school and said, "A package came from Northeastern University Press! I think it's your book!" I came home, sat on the couch, and held the unopened package in my lap for a minute, heart pounding, while Biffle watched. This was it, the moment I'd looked forward to since I was a kid, the moment I'd fantasized about even more than I'd fantasized about the wonderful special (tall) boy: when I'd hold my own book in my hands. I'm getting a little rush of adrenaline right now thinking about it. And then another book got published, and articles, and more are on the way.

Although I never did learn Greek, I do have a pretty decent vocabulary in English, I've read a bunch of classics, I did quite well in school, I'm making a go of upholding my own standards, and I even got to play Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty. So all told, some successes on the list of life goals. Perhaps in a few days I'll post my updated list.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I saw _Somewhere in Time_ in the last two years. Apparently it has some sort of cult following. It's a wacky romantic time-travel-by-lovepower story with Christopher Reeves. Very sincere. Very odd for you to start the list with it! Did you heart Superman?

-jmn

Margaret said...

hey! i like to spell theatre like that! and i spell grey with an 'e' -- am i snobby?!

Cate Bush said...

I remember being in love with the Somewhere in Time movie as a teenager too. A very dramatic love story ... remember the penny?!

Can't wait to see your new list!

Curtis said...

I belive the 14-year-old Alison (whom I knew quite well), would absolutely jump up and down with excitement if presented with the person she would become. And you were awfully good in Sleeping Beauty.