For example I often dreamed of becoming a figure skater but even at a young age I didn’t have the figure for it. I thought of teaching but did not possess the confidence or temperament. Besides, I was afraid I’d favor the dorky kids and start punishing the bullies.
In my teens I dreamed of becoming a dog trainer. Although I eventually achieved the title I never quite enjoyed the acclaim for which I yearned. I did, however save the lives of many dogs by teaching their owners how to gently correct unacceptable canine behaviors. If the owner could not afford my fee I offered discounts, bartering, and oftentimes, a free session. Bad business practices like the aforementioned were my downfall—I was unable to earn enough to pay for publicity. Or utilities.
I thought about becoming a singer but my one and only entry into a sixth-grade talent contest ended up being more like a scene from The Gong Show.
For a brief period of time I traveled to clients’ homes to instruct them in exercise techniques. Because I dressed in leotards (it was the ‘80’s) I was sometimes asked to perform more than jumping jacks and so I retired from that scene in a hurry.
I wanted to be a ballerina but my tutu would have been, as the old joke goes, more like a three-three.
I dreamed of becoming an actress but other than a brief stint on-stage in high school I wasn’t able to memorize long pieces of dialog. Besides, I didn’t want to live in California or New York, even though that’s where the ‘action’ is.
It’s been a long journey filled with many wishes. Some of them were dreamt of often enough to become reality. Through it all, I wrote.
I write about successes. I write about failures, about weight loss, weight gain, men, neighbors and of course, dogs. I write stories, novels, poems and columns. I write because although my body is worn down my spirit lives on if only in words.
Some of my writing is popular. Other times it brings about criticism and scathing commentary. And yet, I write.
I think the point of it all is that you can’t always live up to your own expectations. However, when you stop caring about what comes next, what’s over the next hill, that’s when you grow old.
The opposite of living is not dying; it’s giving up on achieving your dreams.