9-year-old Amanda had opinions about her future

Posted October 25, 2016 by Amanda Shofner in Unapologetically Amanda / 0 Comments

Most of them don’t hold true two decades later, but let’s forget that for a second.


My three-year-old niece became a big sister recently, and it spurred me down memory lane—I set out to find the “Big Sister” button I received twenty-odd years ago when my brother was born. I found it, but the real story begins when I stumbled across a collection of my fourth grade assignments.

Fourth-grade Amanda is better than adult Amanda.

Well, when it comes to drawing, anyway.

I have to imagine that the creative limitations for fourth graders are virtually non-existent. You can do anything or be anything. Somewhere along the way to adulthood, many of us lose that limitless approach to creativity.

We get stuffed into certain boxes (whether by ourselves, our peers, or the adults in our lives), and we stop thinking everything is within our grasp. Nine-year-old Amanda wanted to teach, be a movie star, or a veterinarian. To be famous. The world was mine to own.

(I haven’t owned it yet.)

“I will live up to be what I’m going to be.”

This is one of my favorite lines. It’s as if nine-year-old Amanda realized that she wasn’t going to be able to do everything she listed, but recognized that no matter what she did, she would do it well. Or maybe she, too, realized what thirty-one-year-old Amanda knows: the future is unknown, but we’ll make it to wherever we need to be eventually.

And we’ll rock it.

Amanda will not always like baseball.

It’s interesting to see how much of what nine-year-old me wrote was influenced by what was happening in my life. Further exploration into my fourth-grade assignments revealed that I won a spot on a trip to go see the Minnesota Twins play, and going to the Metrodome (when it still existed) to see the Twins was a yearly event for my family.

As much as we want to predict the future, our predictions are ultimately reflections of our current state. How could I know that at age 12, I’d find soccer—and that¬†would become my favorite sport?

How much of my desire to go to college and get married and have two kids was simply the only model I’d had, and therefore was the only thing that made sense to do with my life?

Spoiler: I may have gone to college, but I’m more likely to have two furbabies than human children. I did get one thing right: I am nice to my dog child.

Why Connecticut?

The boyfriend asked me that question. Hawaii and California he got, but Connecticut?

The truth is, I don’t really know. My best guess is probably the same reason why I’d love to visit the UK: I’d read books set there, and wanted to experience it myself.

I’m also impressed with nine-year-old me’s confidence in having fun wherever we go. Being HSP and introverted, traveling can often be stressful and overwhelming. But she maybe understood who we really are: someone who loves exploring and satisfying our curiosity.

My talent is being a genius, obviously.

There’s nothing quite like being comfortable with your talents.


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