This I Believe

Lauren - Chester, Connecticut
Entered on November 8, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: creativity
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.


Years ago, when I was a little kid, I imagined two things I’d do: me as a singer, and me as a writer. As a kid, I didn’t say to myself, “Oh, it’s so hard, it’s so competitive, I’ll never get anywhere with my talents,” so, I wound up singing and writing as much as I could. These activities were such an unshakable part of me that, through the years, I’ve held on to my singing and writing like a lifeline from a boat that bobs up and down on seas that are as variable as life: alternating waves of calm, choppiness, or chaos. Regardless of weathering the changes, I know that there still are times in my life when I’m paid for my writing and my singing, no matter what other occupations keep me afloat. And now, I believe I’m ready for the job of my dreams.

As a pioneering female rock journalist, Trixie A. Balm, I wrote for Creem and The Village Voice in the heady nineteen seventies, when I was a teenager. Now I’m working on some memoirs of my teen years. As a guitar-slinging vocalist and songwriter, I worked with two popular NYC-based musical groups – one of them, The Washington Squares, got a Contemporary Folk Recording grammy nomination. It hangs on my wall as I write, and it encourages me as I work on songs for upcoming solo shows.

My creative accomplishments make me feel good and, well, validate my life. I’d like to be steadily employed, like my sister and my brother, but instead, I’m the talented sibling who chose to work at it. In between artistic pursuits, I’ve worked in office jobs, sales jobs, publicity, publishing, and, most lately, in education. After two years of teaching high school English in public school, I am now realizing, again, that the job of my dreams is elusive: a fickle harbormaster, so to speak.

Oh, but I know that the job of my dreams is within reach; this I believe, fully. The job of my dreams needs to incorporate the writer in me and the performer in me. Sure, I can keep singing and playing and that won’t stop (thanks to a great husband and friends I’ve made music with who are ceaselessly encouraging). But. . . my ideal job is a place where I can spend time writing, alone, with my thoughts, working on ideas, communicating. I can see myself sitting at my desk, tapping away, the ideas flowing. I’ll present my work when I’m done, and those words on the page will carry out their intention: of healing, of educating, of entertaining.

The audience is there, and my mooring is ready for another casting off. Once again, I’m on that voyage for the job of my dreams, and it’s coming into view clearer and clearer. I can almost taste it; it’s raining and it’s cold but I’m in the boat, and that job is almost in sight: This I believe.