When you get to your late thirties you start to look back on your life. You think about all those years that have gone by; the fast 20’s. You think about the things you did, did well or didn’t do at all and the things you should not have done. You think about the things you wish you would have done. You think about the doors you went through bravely or even naively, the ones that remained closed and the doors that you just looked at and never had the courage or tenacity to open. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. Thinking. About things.
Every day I wonder about writing. I worry about my writing and whether or not I am doing the right thing. I have a third book, the 2nd in series that isn’t even half way written and until recently I’ve had a hard time working on it. Not because the words aren’t there. Not because the characters are boring and hollow or the story is shit but do my stories really matter? It’s a question most writers ask and something we all want. Do people actually like the stories we write or is it just friends, family and more than a few strangers on the internet who have given our books a chance. Is that all that it will ever be? A smattering of appreciation and success. Even so I still wouldn’t quit at least I’m happy in the struggle. 🙂
I am not going to stop writing books so don’t think that; every author goes through times like this I think. But at 37, I am just having a crisis of faith as I look back on the years that have gone by and think about the things I wish I would have done professionally, tried or at least looked into more. SO here are some things I might have liked being when I “grew up”.
- A cartoonist because at one point I was a really good artist.
- An FBI agent. This was something that I thought about a few times over the years. Now, at 37 (cutoff is 35) and not having a college degree yet stopped this idea fast.
- An Astrophysicist because space still fascinates me as it always has but the math still frightens me.
- A border patrol agent on the Canadian border. Why? Because I do better in the cold and Canadians are shifty.
- An actor but I have no desire to move to LA or anywhere in California.
- A college football player. I know had the talent/ability and lord knows I have the size but I lacked the knees, team/school spirit and a general will to really keep playing after early high school. Somedays I wonder how life would have been if I kept playing but I’d probably have 7 concussions instead of 3 maybe 4, fake knees and be one of those guys who constantly say things like, “remember back in high school?” while still wearing a varsity jacket. #Dontbethatguy
- A politician but the past can haunt you in ways I have no desire to relive.
- A dune scooter driver at Silver Lake. If you knew what this was and where it was you would understand but it’s not a job for grown up I guess. At least for ones with families and who aren’t retired.
- An astronaut but again math and we can’t be 10 years old forever.
- To work for the CIA because I would have made an excellent spook. I do speak a smattering of Italian and Russian now.
- A car designer…I don’t really know what happened here but I was 12.
- To work at Disney World…. I suppose I still could but probably won’t.
- To work at NASA…still could but probably won’t but damn that would be awesome!
- Own my own bar in the Florida Keys…did you ever see Cocktail?
- A hacker or least someone who can write code. I once helped write a code for a moving smiley face back in 1990. It’s about as advanced as I’ve gotten.
- A model…..hey don’t laugh there are big men models and I look good 🙂
I am sure there are about 10 more things that I could add to this list that I can’t remember now and have forgotten about over the years. There are some things still are interesting to me, I like reading about them and learning about them but doing them as professions are long behind me I think.
So I concentrate on the things that I can do; like write good books, travel, be a good dad and finish college while unapologetically speaking my mind. Then throw in a few more complicated interests that I barely get but are fascinating nonetheless like dark energy, deep space travel and cleaning the house.
So, what about you? What is something you wanted to be years ago that you, for whatever reason didn’t?