If there is any good that comes from sorting junk, I have found some common themes emerge from my childhood. First, I loved things with my name on it. I have pencils, bags and notebooks with my name everywhere. Heather. Heather Boehmer. Heather Dawn Boehmer. I must have liked the way my name looked in print. Ironically, I still kind of feel that way. My secret wish is to see my name on the cover of book, hopefully with "national bestseller" right above it.
Secondly, I was a prolific writer. I wrote letters to friends in the summer, random pen pals, journal entries, notes to family members, poem after poem after poem (all terrible, by the way), and many short stories. The writing wasn't terrific, but I was amazed by the kind, encouraging words of my teachers. "Keep at it, you've got great potential," one wrote on my paper. They believed in me before I knew to believe in myself.
I also realized how much my mom relished every part of my journey. She kept every word, every picture, every award. She was so proud of me. While I've written often of the struggle growing up with single, teenage mother, I'm not sure I've accurately conveyed what an amazing woman my mother is. She is humble, funny and kind. She has never, not even for one small second, given up on me, though my actions would have tested the most patient soul. I guess I'm thankful she's let me sort out my life at my own pace.
At the bottom of the last box I went through tonight, I found a poem I had written in the ninth grade with a green honorable mention ribbon stapled to it. I don't remember the poem or the ribbon, but it reminded me of the dreamer I used to be. Still am, I guess, in many ways. Here's hoping we can all grow into something special and keep working on the big dream. If it's super unrealistic, well, then I think you're definitely headed in the right direction.
Lament for the Non-Dreamers
by Heather Boehmer, 9th grade
They never seem to look beyond today
or wish for anything unrealistic.
A second of their time is not wasted
on such foolish measures
as daydreaming a tomorrow.
Their lives are synchronized into patterns,
which are colored black and white.
Their eyes are closed to all the magic and beauty
that is soundly sleeping behind the closed doors of their imagination.