Monday, April 4, 2011


So here is my first post for the A-Z challenge (which, by the way, I am already behind on.) A couple of weeks ago I sat down and planned out a few posts for this challenge. Don't go getting all impressed, it was really more of an A is for ____ and B is for____. Planned is really too strong of a word.

So my list said A was for Archetype but I don't feel like writing that post right now. Right now I'm thinking of a dirty A word named AMBITION.

I'm not sure why.

It could be because I was reviewing my own goals this morning. In 2009 I came across a little gift book that Starbucks was selling at the time. It was kind of funny. Not ha ha funny, but strange universal paths funny. I was still on my practicum for school psychology and I was sitting at another person's desk pretending to be incredibly engrossed in all aspects of Positive Behavior Support when really I was just filling training binders for the understaffed team--you know, free intern labor.

Everyone went out for lunch and I opened my sad brown sac (remember, I'm free labor) and I'm halfway through my peanut butter and jelly when I absently open this book that had been sitting next to me all morning.

The title was something like "Your Next Five Years" or "Where Will You Be 5 Years From Today." Honestly I'm not exactly sure and I'm too lazy right now to switch over to Amazon and check. But basically is was a gift type book with lots of color and big font and so it was pretty easy to flip through while licking jelly off my fingers.

But a funny thing started happening about halfway through this little gift book. (again, not funny ha ha.)

I opened up my laptop (my personal laptop...free intern laborer does not get assigned computers. You get a pen and a 5 Star spiral notebook) pulled up power point (don't ask me why it was power point, probably all the presentations I was having to do at the time) and I started answering some of the questions that little gift book was asking me:

  • Things I like about myself
  • Things I don't like about myself
  • Who's the happiest person I know
  • Two people I respect most and why
  • Who am I
  • etc
  • etc
Now these seems like pretty straight forward and easy questions. But, believe me, it took me awhile to answer them. Especially since I wasn't just rambling some half thought to myself. I was taking the time to actually write the answers down--and my answers were surprising me. After about the fourth slide, I realized I was creating something that mattered to me.

My answers were honest, especially the blank ones.  What were my top 5 values? What were my dreams? How had my past actions led me to this desk fantasizing about ways to escape?

Was where I was what I had wanted?

Was what I was doing leading me where I wanted to go?

At the time, I was about five months away from finishing a graduate program that had been a long haul for myself and my family. The questions that "gift book" was asking terrified me. But the answers, those were paralyzing.

Not a single answer I gave had anything to do with what I was pursuing in that moment. I was full of ambitions and all of them were directed down a path I didn't want to be on five years from that day.

I wanted to write. I wanted to write for a living.

I saved and closed that Power Point. It scared me to even know it existed. All that honesty. What if someone saw it?

What if they didn't?

It's 2011 now. I pull that slide show up every few months, review it, tweak it, make sure my ambition is still pointing towards the place I want to be in 2014.

It's a work in progress.


  1. That's a good insight - ambitions are not the same as goals or dreams.

    Good luck with herding your ambitions, and with getting caught up on A-Z!

  2. What a wonderful way to kick off your challenge. Good luck (and have fun) with your ambitions, and thank you for sharing!

  3. That's pretty cool that a book like that helped you get on track. Sometimes we find surprises like that when we least expect it.

  4. What a lovely post, Becky. And what a great eye opening moment for you. And 'Go You' for acting on it!

  5. Hi, I'm not too worried about whether people keep up or not, but I was very happy that the challenge exists at all, so that I can find and follow fellow YA writers in the blogosphere.

  6. Wow - that's a lot of honesty and insight in one post! Looking forward to the rest of your A-Z posts.

  7. I love this post! It's so great that the little book kinda lured you in and didn't let go until you took a look at it. Very nice.