When you were a little kid, what did you dream you would be when you finally grew up? Every child has big dreams. Fireman. Astronaut. Beauty Queen. Doctor. Race car driver. Super hero. As we grow and our world widens and our interests change and expand, our dreams also change and expand, and then become more realistic as we approach high school and then university.
For me, I had three dreams that stayed with me my entire childhood. I wanted to be an actress, a writer, and I wanted to be an ace reporter for my local newspaper, The Daily News. For as long as I can remember, these dreams were with me.
My grandma’s back yard was my very first stage. She had this amazing copse of Blue Spruce pine trees at the rear of her property. I used to slip between the branches and enter the inner circle. It was beautiful inside that circle of pine. The floor was blanketed with pine needles and the huge, aged boughs shielded me from view and provided what I thought was an incredible background. That inner circle was also a great acoustical environment (or so I thought). I loved to sing while I was inside those Blue Spruce boughs. I would host my very own variety show right there in the inner circle.
I was in the school plays and musicals. In college, I was part of the drama fraternity, and an actress with the college players. After getting married, I joined the local theatre troupe and for several years people bought tickets to see me perform on stage. People. Not just family, but strangers, too. What a rush! It was enough for me. I didn’t have to hitch a ride to Hollywood and wait tables until my big break came along.
One dream realized.
Still, every once in a while I want to stand atop a table in a restaurant and break out in song, but the fear of food being chucked at me prevents this from happening!
I am a writer. I love to create characters, settings, and write dialogue. I enjoy the task of constructing a tightly woven mystery for my heroine to solve. I love sinking my teeth into research for a new book. I thrive on reviews of my work. I greatly enjoy being invited to be a guest speaker and the opportunity to tell others about my work and how I got to the place where I am in my writing career. And, I admit, I really enjoy the pleasure I feel when someone asks me to autograph a book for them. It’s even better when it’s my book they ask me to autograph! (sorry, couldn’t resist that wee little joke)
Two dreams realized.
After getting married, I relocated to another part of the state of Pennsylvania and left behind the biggest of my three dreams. That dream of being an ace reporter for the Daily News. I used to daydream about pounding the pavement to get a quote for a story. Hunting down the underdog for a feel-good feature. Doing tons of research for that big story that would crack a case wide open in an award-winning investigative piece. Meeting deadlines. Editing my work to fit a column width. Flashing my credentials to get into places. Being a valued member of The Press!
Why I never pursued a career with any other newspaper is beyond me. I guess life moved forward and I moved with it. I began a career in finance that took over my life for eleven years and, by the time I left it, it seemed too late to go back to my dream. I was long past the day of my college graduation. I was no longer a freshly scrubbed face seeking her first job. I pursued other avenues. But the dream never left me. It never changed. It just remained unfulfilled.
There’s a new reality TV show called The Moment where people are given the chance of a lifetime to capture the biggest moment in their lives by fulfilling their dream career that life interrupted. I am not a fan of reality TV. However, the premise is an interesting one, isn’t it?
If someone came to you and handed you the opportunity to make your one big dream come true, would you take it? I would. I would want to know if I had what it took to be that reporter or if the diverted path I chose was my dream life after all.
But then…I think, maybe I don’t want to know. Maybe it’s best left a dream unrealized instead of a dream shattered.
What about you? What’s your dream? Don’t be shy…share!
Until next time…