When I was a child, I wanted to be a cowgirl. I really wanted to be like Roy Rogers, and I watched his show every day. I DID NOT want to be like Dale Evans. I dreamed of having a horse like Trigger and a dog like Bullet. Dale Evans’ horse’s name was Buttermilk. Blah.
Do you remember the Roy Rogers Roast Beef chain? There was one not far from our house, and one year Roy Rogers made an appearance. I was about 6, I’m guessing, and my mom took me to see him. We bullied our way through the crowds until I SHOOK HIS ACTUAL COWBOY HAND and could tell he liked me best.
A few years later, I understood that people couldn’t just ride big horses around town, saving banks from being robbed. So I decided I would become a horse trainer instead. My best friend Cee would own the ranch, and I would manage the horses.
That didn’t work out for a variety of reasons, the main one being puberty. In high school, I had two main goals – to get boys to like me, and to graduate so I could go to college where I could find boys to like me. That only sort of worked out.
When I graduated from college, I wanted to be an adventurer. For real. I just wanted to travel the world. So I did that for three years, and decided I really wanted to be a writer. But I didn’t know how to start, and you know what that means: GRADUATE SCHOOL! By this time, my dad was all GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER, PATRICIA, OR I WILL FIND YOU A JOB SLOPPING GRITS. And I was all, what? Can’t a girl find herself?
So I became a journalist, which is kind of like being a writer except you only partially make stuff up.
After a dozen or so years of reporting, I began teaching journalism because it’s really empowering to be in a room full of people who don’t know as much as you. Seriously! It’s like a little mini ego-boost.
Then a couple of years ago, my friend Kay asked me to take over her boxing class at the Y. So I became a fitness instructor.
Fast forward to now. I’m tired of teaching, so I’m phasing that out. But I’m a writer! (Please don’t call me a blogger. I hate the word blogger.) I dabble in journalism. And last week, I earned my personal training certification, and I continue to teach fitness and boxing classes. (My Left Hook? Writer Fighter Mom? Get it?)
I’m approaching nirvana in terms of my life balance: nearly every day, I get to write, work out, nap, and give Eskimo kisses to three beautiful crazy bugaboos. Occasionally I see Hot Firefighter Husband for conjugal visits. I don’t have a horse, but my dog isn’t bad. And have I mentioned how much I love my Cymbalta?
Also, I’m making a fortune! Wait…no. That’s not right. Okay, here’s the glitch in the nirvana thing. I’m pretty sure my monthly income is less than the babysitter’s. Sometimes I can’t afford a latte.
But it’s all good, right? When that happens, I go home and boil some milk, and mix it in with an instant coffee packet. It looks just like a latte. Then I sit at my computer and write, occasionally staring out the window, thinking about getting a horse, and wondering what’s going to strike my fickle fancy next.