Remember the book What Color is Your Parachute?
Back when I was wondering what the heck I was doing as a department store manager that included a) a divisional marketing manager who gleefully chose one of us to humiliate daily, b) being in charge of two multi-million dollar departments on two floors with two buyers and two staffs without an assistant, c) no time to eat, and d) hair falling out in clumps, I decided to re-look at my priorities. Not only did I read What Color is Your Parachute?, I took a career-assessment test at New York University. There was one glaring characteristic missing in my life–creativity! Hon, I should have known.
I recently came across one of my very first picture books complete with illustrations and an author photo in which I’m missing my front teeth. I wrapped some of my books in plastic wrap so they’d look like they came from the library. Cute!
I also came across songs I wrote. I’d play around on the piano and then plot the notes in a music book.
When my parents said they wouldn’t buy me a dollhouse, I made my own out of cardboard. (It actually had a couple of floors!) When I wanted a summer dress, Pappagallo handbags with changeable covers, and an Esprit drawstring bag, I sewed my own.
I learned how to needlepoint, embroider, and knit when I was elementary-school-age. Another creative outlet opened up, and I designed my own canvases and wrote my own patterns.
My first jobs, aside from babysitting and being a camp counselor, were working in stores. I liked retail, but especially merchandising the selling floor and doing the windows.
So, when I left that miserable, weight-loss-inducing department store job, I started my own business. A couple of years later, I became pregnant with triplets. That was the end of the business and time to re-assessment priorities again.
Back to the magic of children’s books, which I was trying to create as a ten year-old. Guess what? I’m still trying.