I remember being a child, still wearing a polka dot rain coat, and sitting cross legged in my small bedroom, a medical textbook on my lap, a notepad by my side.
I knew – with absolute certainty – that I would Grow Up and don that bright white coat, numbers swimming in my newly adult mind, and spend my life helping other people. Sick people.
When teachers asked, as they invariably do when your young and impressionable and full of ideas, what I was going to be when I grew up – I told them. A Doctor.
The kids beside me gave their own socially influenced answers: A fireman, a police officer, a movie star, Hannah Montana, whatever their parents did at the time, batman. We all had dreams. Those pesky things that remind us, as adults, that Reality is never the same as our Expectations.
Or, is it?
When I was 18 years old I knew I would be a writer and, unlike my ten year old self, I had the capacity and means to take steps to make this happen. Writing is a glorified profession, but I wanted it and I wanted it badly. So I wrote first for the campus paper, then for local and International publications, and at age 22, published a book. I worked front desk in a lovely office and spent every spare minute tracking down first an agent and then, with his help, a publishing company.
I knew that writing was not usually lucrative – the people in my life, past partners and family, assumed a published book meant great success. Money. And for a little while, before I talked my agent into talking my publishing company into pulling the book off the shelves, it made my life a little more interesting. But I knew that the reality of publishing a book was certainly not about making money. Writers want to be heard.
I kept my expectations low – low but high enough to succeed. My reality, at the time, was in alignment with my expectations.
I had wanted to be a writer, and dammit, I was. My name was on the cover of a book. My picture on the back. Shouldn’t I have relished in my success? Nah. That would be too easy. Human beings always seem to be searching for The Next Thing to fill that void.
And I kept searching.
If you made it this far, I appreciate it! More on this in my next post.