Life, for me, has always been a journey. A curious path with unexpected turns, rife with ups and downs, and twists and turns along the way. Not everything turned out the way I’d originally dreamed it. But I have no regrets. There is really no point to regretting what made you who you are today.

When I was 8 I wanted to be a nun, then a firefighter or maybe an explorer. When I was in high school I wanted to be a fashion designer. Instead I married young, had children young, and by the time I was ready for college, with the youngest firmly planted in school, it wasn’t fashion design I wanted. It was Archeology.

Two years into the anthropology/archeology program we were informed by professors that the typical job for us would be social worker, reviewing a landscape before a highway went in…among other things, but definitely unlikely to be professors. Not because we were not talented. We were. But simple fact, the current crop of professors probably wouldn’t want to vacate their positions and the lifespan of the current crop was likely 20 years. As for cool adventures out on dig sites…much to my surprise we were informed its really only those professors who have schools with the funding or rich people who ever actually get to do anything interesting.

I believed this was true because the only archeology professor on campus who went on fantastic digs was wealthy ( and a friend to Stephen King!). In addition, those friends of mine who graduated in that year or the year before, were now working at kinkos.

So, I played around with the idea of becoming a writer, going into computer science, or getting deep into history. I took classes in those areas and decided since Id taken some fine arts classes already, to dabble a little more in the design area. I had NO reason for taking the art or design classes other than as a stress reliever and a little fun.

If you knew me well when I was in high school then you probably know I was always drawing and trying to teach myself to paint. And while in my 20s I won some local awards for painting and photography, I never, ever, believed, and still do not, that my talents were of a caliber that would lead to a lucrative, or even stable income. I may be a dreamer but I am also very practical.

Computer programming was too rigid. I liked the structure very much but not the teachers who would downgrade me for chosing a path of code that wasnt on the list.

History was amazing but I couldnt see myself being as entertaining as my professors. Did you know condoms were invented for the English king Charles who literally could not “keep it in his pants”? Oh yes, but thats another story!

I loved writing and still do…but the idea that the bread and butter is in writing jingles and blurbs was not for me. And besides, what I really want to write is fiction–amazing freaking blow your mind fiction. I was an A student. But I didnt want to do it as a living. Like my art, for now, I just wanted to have fun with it.

While playing in the art department I learned about graphic design. Here was a way to be creative and make a buck. Though I have to tell you, its not big bucks and money wasn’t the IT factor for me. I was stimulated amazed and totally into all my professors, the kids, the work. I was hooked.

And while I was taking computer programs, I discovered the web. Oh it was grey and ugly and I received hate mail from some physics kid for putting pictures on my web page. The sender said the web was not for pictures it was strictly for information between scientists and I should be shot. He should have been pretty scary as he continued by saying he would shoot me if he ever saw me.

I chalked him up to a weirdo and went on my merry way. I was addicted to the web and my vision was to make it user friendly and oh I am just gonna say it, Pretty!

Though some of my design professors thought the web was a fad (this was in 1993) I was adamant it was here to stay and was rife with potential. I went one step further in saying to anyone who would listen that the art departments website sucked and didn’t do its students or its professors justice. If we wanted to attract the best we needed to look like we were the best. My big mouth had earned me my first web design project for my computer science professor, my big mouth earned me my second web project, designing and building the art department website.

The rest is history. Though I was near the forefront of the web design explosion, the truth is by the time I had discovered the web there was a plethora of other designers discovering it as well. Some of them made huge amounts of money. I never did. And until last year (2008) my income had always been steady. Even during the dotcom bomb Id managed to stay afloat.

So thats my story.

As a child Id never intended to get married and have children. I have three sons, and two grandsons. As a teen I’d wanted to design fashion. From birth, thanks to my grandmother Id had a love of archeology and anthropology and I swear I was born to draw. But it’s not where I ended up.

I am a graphic web designer. I still want to be a fiction writer but I might wait until I’m 90. Grandma moses started painting when she was 90, so I guess Ive still got time. In a way, Im still the explorer I wanted to be as a child. The journey isn’t over and everything is grist for the mill! What’s your story?

Where did you want to be and where did you end up?