Do you ever sit back and think you’re not living the life you were meant to live, or was misguided by those who told you, you could be whatever you wanted to be when you grew up as long as you believed in yourself? I’m still not a professional baseball player and I am starting to think those folks were liars and my dreams of baseball stardom will never happen.
Of course growing up I always had those visions of becoming an astronaut or a professional athlete. Why wouldn’t any child believe the sky was the limit? You’re taught by those you trust to follow those dreams and hold onto them tightly so you can become what you want to become. But then I grew up, and quickly realized life never goes as planned. Sure, I still dream about somehow coming into money, or becoming famous for writing the next great American novel and living the easy life as I sit day dreaming at my work desk. But I just don’t have the naivety I used to. I know when I finally snap out of my dream world the phone on my desk will be ringing and e-mails will start backing up about jobs I need to correct and people I need to call.
To be honest, I had the notion I wouldn’t live past 25 back when I was in high school. I didn’t feel there was anything worth living for after that age. I didn’t want to become some mindless worker on the end of an assembly line watching the world roll by, but again life throws you for a loop and here I am about to turn 37 writing about my dreams that never happened and the dull days I call my life. Life can be downright mean sometimes.
I’m not writing this for pity or to hear back from those who feel the same. I am writing this so I can realize I’m not going to be the next Alan Trammell* or Ernest Hemingway** and that I’m just moving along my life’s slow path as if I am on the assembly line heading for death’s door with nothing more than a few bruises and memories I can call my life.
Sure some day I might have a child or two and I’ll tell them the same ol story I was told. Reach for the stars, go after your dreams and grab the bull by its horns; and if you can work hard you can achieve whatever you want. And a little piece of me will know I’m lying as I look down into their wide eyes as they wonder what to dream about, but it won’t keep me from saying those things. Because just maybe, my children will be able to do what they set out to do.
*Played shortstop for the Detroit Tigers from 1977 to 1996.
**If you don’t know Ernest Hemingway you need to read more.