Dreams of a 13 Year Old by Jody Casella

I was going to make fun of my dream.

I was going to point out the silliness of a thirteen year old's vision of the future and mock my artistic ability.

Nobody in the picture, for example, has a nose.

The paper, an assignment from my seventh grade English teacher, was to draw what you thought your life would look like at age 30. 

I wrote: "I am happily married. I am also the author of many books!"

Check out the family. Husband close by. Two children, a boy and a girl. And sitting at a desk is Future Thirty Year Old Me. There's a typewriter on my desk, of course, and a telephone for all of my important calls.

I love that I am wearing a dress and earrings and high-heeled shoes. Also, that I am seated, so regally, in my stiff-backed chair. Seventh grade me might be a tad disappointed to learn that Writer Reality is closer to a jammies/bathrobe combo, no earrings, no shoes, and sprawled out on a bed with a laptop on my lap.

But hey! I got the author part right!

This was a vision that had no grounding in reality. I didn't know anyone who was a writer. Most of the adult women in my life were either stay-at-home moms or teachers or nurses or secretaries. I had no clue what was involved in being an author, what my next steps should be if I wanted to pursue such a career.

I got the happily married with two kids part right too.

This vision also had no grounding in reality. I came from a broken home. My father died when I was seven and my mother remarried a not so nice guy. I spent a lot of my elementary and middle school years fantasizing that I was part of a TV sitcom family like the Brady Bunch or escaping into fictional families like Trixie Beldon or glomming onto my friends' families.

So okay. I couldn't draw noses when I was thirteen, and I totally didn't foresee the downfall of the typewriter as a writing tool.

But I won't make fun of my dream.

Maybe because there's still a smidgen of my thirteen year old self buried inside me. Or maybe because I know that it's not right to make fun of a person's dream. Even if the dream is, on the surface, silly.

Even if--or maybe--especially if, the dreamer is yourself.


  1. Nothing silly about it--after all, the dreams came true!

    1. That's the funny/weird thing about it... how did I know??

  2. Neato! Not sure I could have handled writing in the pre-computer era, although that's how I made it through college.

    1. I used to love my typewriter. Now, I can't even imagine using one :)

  3. You've inspired me to start wearing dresses and heels while I write! :) I think it's awesome that -- minus the dress -- your dreams came true as predicted. Great post!

  4. I love this post! And, hey, noses are tough to draw!


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