Yesterday I left off with the question: What were your childhood dreams?
My childhood dreams were as varied and 'ever-changing' as the seasons. The most recurring dreams I had were:
To be an astronaut
To play classical piano
To be a princess
To be a doctor
To be an actress
In his book, Randy Pausch reviews through several chapters how he made each of his childhood dreams a reality (in one sense or another). This seems like quite a challenge for me, but lets see where we end.
I dreamed of being an astronaut because I loved the feeling of flying and weightlessness. Of course the weightlessness I felt was in dreams (along with flying) and the occasional brief jump on a trampoline where you feel less earth-bound and more free to fly in the air as you jump higher and higher. An astronaut is also a scientist and I do believe that is what guided me to ultimately pursue science in college. I still love to stare up at the sky at night or imagine what the moon looks like up close and what moon dust feels like in my bare hand.
My second dream was to play classical piano. I can pick a few notes out on a piano, but my parents income dictated a more realistic dream of playing the organ. Somehow I don't know how my parents managed with the 3 of us all desiring so many things and when we asked we usually received. My brother played trumpet, and guitar, I played the organ and my sister played violin. Aside from the cost of lessons came the endless hours of 'music in training' as we practiced for set hours each day. I quit playing the organ as middle school ended and I went on to pursue other dreams in high school.
I still have a love of piano music. My favorites are probably Jim Brickman and George Winston. I love the way they bring music to life on the piano. I am awed by piano players who get so lost in their magic that it appears effortless.
I also dreamed (as most any girl does) of being a princess. I dreamed of being rescued by a prince and swept off my feet. Guess what...if anyone has ever read anything here about the 'Prince' I married, you know I really did get this dream. There is NOTHING that prince wouldn't do for me. Not a day goes by that I don't feel just like a princess...only without the poison apple.
My next dream was to be a doctor. I really held on to this one for many years. One thing that doesn't make sense is I didn't enjoy GOING to the doctor, but I did dream of BECOMING a doctor. I thought it out and wanted to be a Pediatric Hematologist who specialized in Genetics. I geared all my coursework in high school and college towards this dream. I attended a school (my father's Alma mater) that had an incredibly high MCAT score and Med School acceptance rate. I declared this major and began this dream.
One thing I didn't account for was the social dream I was living and the freedom I had yet to learn to reign in. I would catch glimpses of students I studied with during the week, reading or getting lab time on weekends from sun up to sundown. It was like a punch to the gut but a real time saver. I did not want to give up my social time to study my life away for the next 8-15 years. I wasn't going to be a doctor, but Lord knows I worked with enough of them along the way.
I did work for many years as a Med Tech and got to work on several research projects with PhDs and Physicians and even have a hand in the genetics I so desired to study.
The final dream I included was to be an actress. I love to act. I love to put on the character and become something else for a short period of time. Apparently I had this dream from very early on as my mother points out she refused to fly in a helicopter or I could have had commercial work as a child. "Alas, poor KPJARA!"
I did get to act in high school and learned I also enjoyed directing and back stage work. The theater is an amazing place. It is an amazing experience. I won Best Thespian my senior year and this came as a huge surprise sense I didn't ever have a LEADING role, rather supporting roles or backstage work. What I had was a passion for theater...and this still exists today.
I still have spurts of this behavior when I speak in accents at random times and sing at the top of my lungs...in my car (and at worship). I dance daily...with the dogs. I recite scenes from movies or plays and even favorite commercials.
What I realized as I thought about these dreams (and read The Last Lecture), is that my dreams certainly did come true. They may not seem like it in the literal sense but in the sense that matters...my dreams all came true!