Thursday, September 16, 2004

Still want to be an astronaut? How do you do it?

Somewhere there must be a cosmic recycle bin for discarded dreams. The worn, the tired, the hopeless – they all cast their plans for writing the great American novel or climbing Kilimanjaro into this receptacle where they are turned into fresh dreams for the young and the indestructible.

How about you. What are your dreams? What do you want? What have you already given up on? What are you holding on to?

I’m at one of those annoying crossroads that seem to afflict people of a creative mind. You must know them. Do I resign myself to being broke but live happily pursing my dream as a writer, or do I forsake the dream and get another job so that I can someday maybe even buy a house?

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone’s dreams came true? If we lived in a world filled with cowboys and ballerinas? OK, annoying, but a warm fuzzy “what if” all the same. I was going to save the world. I was going to win an Academy Award for Best Actress. I was going to be a photographer for National Geographic and go around the world taking pictures and writing stories. I was going to be a novelist. I was going to….well, you get the idea.

But somewhere along the way, we all give up. It’s tragic, really. I mean I’m not really a coward, but practicality does rear its ugly head and make you realize that as a responsible individual you have rent to pay that can’t wait until the world beats a path to your door and hands you the Nobel Prize for Literature.

It would help if the universe were cooperative. I’m not asking for a golden carpet, but fewer roadblocks would be nice. I mean it’s hard to stay focused on that last dream when your health insurance won’t pay for your physical therapy or you suddenly need to pay for car repairs that couldn’t come at a worse time.

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