January 26, 1995 Thursday
Here I am, a sophomore in high school. Where has all the time gone? I’m really not sure about a major in college yet. I try to first think what I am good at, and see where it takes me. I can draw, but does that make me an artist? I can write, somewhat, so an English degree then? Careers are hard to think of, from where I stand. It’s hard to know what they’d really be like. What are the tasks–is it really hard? What about the money? At the moment I’m looking at the University of Illinois (I’ve heard rumors about the Illini getting the top-ranked quarterback in the country). I might share an apartment with Hoke, who wants to go there too. I wonder who I’ll meet, all the new people beyond this small cast. I guess I should be a lawyer, or a psychiatrist, if anything. My future families’s happiness and well-being is on the top of the list. It is important to me that my family be taken care of. I guess I’m not just preparing for my future, but for my daughter’s. My son’s. My wife’s. I’m dictating right now how they will live years and years from now. I want them to be proud of me. If I am only thinking of myself, however, I would like to do something with writing. I have sometimes told myself I want to write a book. It doesn’t have to be the “Great American Novel” (but I wouldn’t complain if that happened), but at least one book, that could still be on a shelf long after I am gone. Or, a second choice would be as newspaper columnist (my dream would be the Chicago Tribune), writing daily thoughts down the left side of the page for people to read and think over.
I would like to be married two years after college. That’s at least how I picture it, when it comes to mind. I could spend some time in Florida, or in Maine… Yet when the time comes, I want to come home to settle down. Not many in the family move away– I guess we really like central Illinois. The one that has set out on his own, Uncle Duane, has caused Grandma Connors some grief because he lives in California and hasn’t been home in six years. After I retire, I would like to tour England and France.
I was looking through my old 5th grade journal, then my eye caught something I hadn’t remembered ever seeing. On the back inside-cover is a heart, in pencil, with an arrow going through it. The heart had “W+E” written on the inside. It was in Emma’s handwriting.