The old dreams were good dreams

Points if you know where that title came from.

I took home a box of my old school papers this weekend from my parent’s house and came across this typed assignment (ah, the days of picking whatever font you wanted for a school paper!) that I did back in 5th grade. I have no recollection of this assignment but it seems to be some sort of “Hopes and dreams for the future” or “How I want my future to turn out” thing. Apparently back then, I had some pretty specific ideas for the future and what better place to share them than right here.

Oh, fun fact. I think I probably talked about this here before but I changed the spelling of my name on my marriage certificate because computers never printed Risë and everyone always mispronounced it as “Rise.”

This sheet of paper is now hanging in my office by my writing desk.

Always remember your roots.

Here it is, in case it’s hard to read:

My dream is to become a famous author for children’s books. I want to be accepted into a publishing company here in Minnesota. And close by. I don’t want to illustrate them though. I don’t want to write really long stories.

Specific. Also, how long is too long? And are we talking biking distance to this publishing company here around by your house?

I also want to be a veterinarian. I don’t want to operate on an animal though. But I would like to work with animals. But not cats because I’m allergic to them. 

If I ever come across a veterinarian career who doesn’t have to possess surgical skills and can stay away from cats, I’ll be sure to let you know. 

I want to be a professional dog trainer. I would like to work and train dogs. 

This is probably a better bet than your rigid requirements of children’s book author and hands-off vet. 

As soon as I’m 16, I’m going to do volunteer work at the Animal Humane Society, I love to be around animals. 

Yes, that’s good preparation for becoming a vet. Just avoid the cats. But I did actually end up doing this at fifteen for a high school Government volunteer requirement.

When I get older, I want to have 2 boys named Travis and Luke because I grew up with a family of girls and now I just want a change. 

Oh, little Risa. You want a change? How about six years of infertility? Please don’t be sad that you ended up continuing that cycle of girls thing. Your daughter is actually pretty cute. 

I want to own all the beanie babies and have them not be so popular!

So THIS was when Beanie Babies were at their peak. Like dogs, Doritos, and pens, I apparently also wanted to hoard these things. 

I want a Power PC computer with a color printer.

I don’t even know what the fuck this is. I did eventually get that color printer though. #goals

I want two dogs( or maybe more) when I move out.

News flash: One dog was crazy enough. You ain’t ever owning two. 

Hiding big dreams behind those glasses since 1997.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go show Chris my construction paper leprechaun I made in Kindergarten, complete with brackets so the limbs move.

Olivia is missing out. I see some pretty spectacular art projects for the two of us this winter.

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

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When I was cleaning out my father’s house I found the list of things I wanted in a husband. My sweet husband of 20 years has One thing on that list.


And I’m dying. Because May 1997 was when I was preparing to graduate high school and was teaching swim lessons to girls like you. In Minnesota none the less.

But I digress. It’s amazing all the dreams and hope we had through younger lenses of the world. It’s impressive to think about all we believed was possible. I crave having that outlook again (right now it’s a bit too bleak). Especially when we get to pick the font.


And I graduated college in 1997!! I’m so old…. hahaha!

Holly Benson
Holly Benson

so cute.


1. I love this so much. You were – and are – awesome.

2. This made me feel old as dirt! I was two years into my graduate degree when you wrote this! lol


Oh, you were (are) adorable!

I love the ambition to be a vet, but not with cats because you’re allergic!

As one of the other commenters said, this also made me feel as old as dirt! I laughed out loud at your comment about “the days of picking whatever font you wanted for a school paper.” Our fonts were called “handwriting.” At least, I didn’t use a quill and parchment though … not quite!


That is adorable. I love looking back at old school stuff and writings and being like, “Oh, Jess from so many years ago, if you only knew…” That leprechaun sounds sweet. I’m glad that some things worked out better than your 5th grade self hoped, and that you navigated the tough stuff with grace (and f-bombs). What a fun trip back in time!


So interesting learning about how your name was actually spelled differently! I loved reading this list. I recently came across some poems I wrote in middle school and freshman year of high school. You’ve inspired me to maybe share them!