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Do you remember your first summer job?
The thrill of that first check is something that is incomparable. Before I share mine I want to talk about my dream as a kid. As a kid, I thought I’d be an actress or a movie star. Then I noticed something. Despite all the TV I was watching, there were very few people on TV that looked like me.
So, when I started working as a housekeeper, salesperson, I gave up thinking that being an actress would ever happen. I journaled about it, though. I kept a diary from the age of thirteen or fourteen. In it, I describe my hopes and dreams for my life and start to think seriously about what I want to do with my life.
Computers came into my life and made an impact. I was obsessed with typing on IBM computers and designing on the new Apple Macintosh desktops of the time. Graphic design was my thing and I was already taking on projects.
That was the year I met my first sign language interpreter and discovered the only job that could keep me from being bored. All the while, I pushed my dreams aside to keep those good feelings of getting paid every two weeks.
I got a summer job working as a legal administrative assistant, secretary, at a law firm. It was through a school placement program. That summer, my checks got bigger and dream of becoming a star continued to die.
So why the long story?
This is all to say that my dream of becoming an actress evolved into writing. When I saw there were no roles in Hollywood for people like me I started writing stories. I wanted more books with me in them. It sounds vain writing it out. Honestly, we are drawn to representations of ourselves.
So I started writing, and writing, then writing some more. I wrote stories where the hero was a young, black girl like me. Then I started writing about aliens and space exploration where the main characters were just like me in some small way.
Now that I’ve put those stories out into the world, I know what I want to do with the rest of my life. I don’t want to work with other people’s, homes, words, or products. I want to write my own and hope that they reach a young girl who is just like me.
Do you remember your first job? What did you buy with that first check? Please comment below if you have a story of your own to share we’d love to read it.