What I Wanted To Be When I Grew Up – Part 1

What did you want to be when you grew up? I think I only remember back as far as 4 years old. I wanted to me a Mom. My Mom had already had 2 kids (me and my brother, Dave) and was pregnant with her third. She was amazing. She was married but a single Mom. That means she married a sailor who was out to sea – a lot! She cleaned our house, us kids, got all the groceries, and made sure everything worked in our apartment. We lived in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia across from HMCS Halifax, the East coast base for the Canadian Navy. We didn’t have a car so we walked everywhere and whoever the baby was at the moment would travel in the carriage.

I’ve lived in Nova Scotia (Dartmouth), Quebec (Montreal), Ontario (Hamilton and Ottawa), Northwest Territories (Inuvik) and British Colombia (Victoria). Dad got posted every two years or so. I saw a lot of Canada and the peoples who live all over. I did not want to be in the Navy or or a Train Engineer. We took trains all over Canada and it is an amazing way to see this country. I liked when we flew but my Mom didn’t and since we didn’t have a car, the train was the best for us. Seeing so much of Canada I had a hard time thinking of growing up.

But…In grade 6 in Victoria, BC I read a lot about treasure and lost civilizations. I wanted to be an archaeologist. I wanted to dig in the Egyptian deserts and the forests of the Yucatan. Pyramids fascinated me. It was also around this time I started writing poems. I kept a diary and wrote lots of corny poems over many years. But that was before I started reading Al Purdy’s works (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Purdy). Open verse was the way to go.

But…I learned about disease and major bugs in jungles were ruins were. I hate bugs. So I turned my head as I went on in school to other careers. How about being a nurse? I grew up with lots of nose bleeds so I had no fear of blood. Helping people was a wonderful thought until I found out (after a stint in 3 different hospitals) that nursing is filled with crap – literally! In grade 12 in Inuvik, it was discovered that I had a kidney condition. First trial was in the Inuvik hospital. Then I was sent out to Edmonton and the Charles Campsell Hospital for “Northerners”. A week there then I was moved to the old University of Edmonton Hospital for a kidney biopsy. Yikes, it scared the bejeesus out of me being invaded by a huge needle taking stuff out of my back while under an X-ray machine and surrounded by medical students. Nursing got tossed out of my head.

So, in grade 12 and the prospect of me first year of university being paid for by the Canadian Government, I decided to apply to the University of Edmonton, where I could be independent and the University of Victoria, where my Dad was being transferred. But for what?? I loved visual arts and had a lot of fun drawing, painting and sculpting. I put a photo portfolio together and applied at both universities. I was accepted at both. Wow! I was truly excited. Then I ended up with my right ankle in a cast after a bad turn in volleyball. Gone was my summer job so off to Victoria with my family I went.

UVic was great! The cast came off and I registered for university. I had the best advisor when I went. I had applied as a BFA (fine arts or f-all) student. He explained that it was the best idea to take all your graduation required classes as soon as I could. So I registered in bachelor of Arts and Sciences for my first year. Anthropology, Linguistics, English 350 (writing) and assorted Fine Arts and English classes just for the first year. I learned so much. For example, I was a poor visual art student. I blushed at nude drawing. Creative writing was awesome and turned me on to radio plays. So year 2 I signed up for BFA Theatre. I ended up doing the acting, set building, costuming and directing stuff and graduating with a BFA in Theatre in 1972. I was so successful I ended up working full time in retail!

To be continued…

Diane

~ by 1fatgirlshrinking - Diane Kirby on May 14, 2021.

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