(NOTE: Blogger's word verification seemed to be broken Sunday night and early Monday. I turned off word verification yesterday for awhile. Everything seems to be working properly now. Please let me know if you have problems.)
(This really didn't start out to be some kind of motivational post. And I'm sure you've all heard about my desire to write ad nauseam. Nevertheless...)
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I remember in high school we had to fill out a little questionaire for the prom booklet. One of the questions was where do you see yourself in ten years? I'm not sure what I said. Probably something like married, with a child or one on the way, and probably something about what job I'd have. I tell you what I didn't say. I didn't say that I'd be 33 years old and single and have a blog. But life doesn't always go like we plan.
So what did I want to be when I was young? Well, besides a garbage man, of course. Why do kids want to be garbage men anyway? Or maybe it was just me. I think it's because when you're a kid, that's really one of the only jobs you see and know about. The garbage man. Twice a week. You get to ride on the back of that big truck. And when you're a kid, big trucks are cool. Garbage truck, dump truck, bulldozer, fire engine, etc. Anyway, I'm straying from my point.
Early signs indicated I wanted to be a writer. I've already told you about my first book. Well, probably around the same time, a couple of neighborhood kids and I "published" our own newspaper. The publishing business is hard work. Especially without a printing press. Or a copy machine. Or a typewriter... Or carbon paper. Yes, every issue had to be meticulously copied by hand. It was like we were transcribing the Dead Sea Scrolls or something.
What was in this neighborhood gazette, you might ask? Well, it was a combination of current news, neighborhood social events, and op-ed pieces. But more times than not, it was stuff like "Bone defeated Chad 21-17 in basketball Wednesday. The game was played at the goal in the Vance's driveway." Then we walked around the neighborhood trying to sell it door-to-door for like fifty or seventy-five cents. I think we published two issues. Man, was my hand tired.
Then all thru high school, I always said I wanted to be a journalist. Journalism. That was going to be my major in college. Until I got there and found out how much English was involved. I love to write. But I never cared to learn all the technical correct grammar stuff. Nor did I ever like to read something I was told to read. Only things I wanted to read. So I was scared away from that. Everyone had always said I was great with computers. I pick things up really quickly. So that's what I did. It was something I was able to do. It was something I was good at. But it was never truly what I wanted to be doing. It has taken me all these years to realize that. Or rediscover it. Or not be afraid to admit it.
So my theory is that maybe we know what we want to be from a fairly young age. It was true for me. And in talking to a few people about this in recent days, it was true for them as well. A few of them pursued it. Most haven't. Many people I know are not doing what they really want to do with their life. Maybe they have a comfortable job. Maybe it pays well. But deep down, there's always that unexplored dream.
My question is why? Why didn't they? Why didn't I? After all, I can really only speak for myself. Doubts. Fears. Taking the easy way out. Being satisfied with having a job and getting by. Being intimidated by something that seems so incredibly daunting, like submitting my writing to an editor. I have known what I wanted to do all along. But I let all these things that shouldn't even matter deter me. Even realizing and saying all this means nothing if I do nothing about it. Then, at least I can say I tried. And that's saying a lot.
Life doesn't always go like we plan. But sometimes it goes like we allow.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Are you doing it?
If not, why not?
Happy pondering ;-)
"And if your train's on time, you can get to work by nine. And start your slaving job to get your pay..."