Friday, March 11, 2011

Childhood Dreams

I'm taking another crack at the weekly writing prompt from Studio 30 Plus. This week it's: Childhood Dreams.


Okay, quick show of hands...

Back when you were a child, do you remember how much you dreamed of growing up to be an account manager? Or about the all times you ran up and down the yard pretending you were a busy executive assistant trying to get your boss' coffee and dry-cleaning delivered so you could stave off the inevitable meltdown of said boss? And, of course, who could forget picking up your toy phone and playing telemarketer? If you've hand up for any of these then I hope that the bullies you encountered growing up were lenient at least at Christmastime.

Now, for those of you who may be employed in any of these fields, please know that I am not putting down any of you (well... maybe telemarketers). I'm merely making a point that, as children, we all dreamed of growing up and living a life of adventure and excitement. That's just natural, I guess. I'm sure I'd see more hands raised* if I asked how many of you wanted to be an astronaut, or a fireman, or a pilot, or even a doctor. Those, we pretended to be. Those, we dreamed of becoming one day. Saving lives, exploring new frontiers, sailing the high seas or soaring through the clouds are all so freakin' cool! Right?

When I was a child, I remember I would lug around my father's Samsonite briefcase in my games of pretend. Not because I wanted to be an office supervisor, but it looked like the one James Bond in that movie that time. The seemingly harmless items inside were, each and every one of them, an instrument of torture or death. That sheet of paper would slice your head clean off. That ballpoint pen, a high power laser beam in disguise. And, for the love of all that was holy, don't make me use the paperclip!!!

I still have nightmares about the last time someone made me you the paperclip...

So what happens? When do we go from wanting be an international super-spy, clearing the world of dictators and genius megalomaniacs to clearing photocopier jams? How did we go from a mug of ale at the tavern with our crew-mates after a day of pillaging and plundering to gathering around the cooler for water from a paper cup when the boss wasn't around?

You don't have to answer. I know. Real life happens. We lose interest. We find new interests. Bills, loans, kids, etc all eventually pop up long after we move on from those aspirations and put the final nails in the coffin.

But, realistically speaking, most of us don't miss those dreams. Most of us never grow up to be who we wanted to be when we were five. And, for the most part, we're okay with that. If we were all astronauts, who would make sure our retirement nest egg was in the right long-term savings plan?

So what? I didn't grow up to be a spy (or... did I?), that radioactive grasshopper never bit me and bestowed upon me superhuman jumping powers (the spider idea was already taken, okay?) and I'm not a doctor (though, sometimes, I do play one in bed). Life goes on.

Oh! And, for those fortunate few of you that do get to go on to live your dream, I hate you salute you and hope it is all you dreamed it would be.

* Since I can't actually see if your hands are raised, please feel free to feel like an idiot if you actually did put your hand up.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Great take on the topic, Hopperman. "And, for the love of all that was holy, don't make me use the paperclip!!!" I love that!

  3. What a great take on the S30P prompt. I get a little said when I realize that I will indeed never grow up to be tour guide Barbie but I am kind of ok with where my life landed. It's ok to still dream though right? Fun post to read spy boy.

  4. When I was a kid I wanted to be Charlie from Charlie's Angels because he had 3 hot women at his beck and call.

  5. I hate those people, too. Okay, just reaaaalllly jealous. I've always struggled with what I should be when I grow up - it's ALL so interesting!

  6. My brother wanted to be aluminum siding.

  7. I did always play that I was Estee Lauders assistant, yup I really did.

    I learned a while ago that we set ourselves up in life for our own disappointments, no one promised us the house with the white picket fence, the knight in shining armor, etc etc.

    Wait aren't I supposed to be blaming someone else at this point?

    My husband is doing what he loves, after 26 years in the Air Force he is now completing his degree in Marine Biology and on to save the whales.

    It still is possible Vinny.

  8. Great writing! I always thought I wanted to be a pediatrician, but being an optometrist is much more convenient for someone with a family. Kids are still my favorite patients though, and at least I'm in the medical field.

    Good luck with being a Grasshopper spy!

  9. Spy agencies and glass blowers are still taking applications. I'm just saying.

    The superhero thing; still an option as soon as they change their policy on mandatory tights.

  10. When I was a kid it was more about what I DIDN'T want to be. And well, that didn't really work out either.

  11. @ ALL: Apologies, but this is going to be one of those times I won't be able to respond to your comments individually. I'm in the middle of a mission (midterm exams) & I've barely had time to breathe this weekend. As usual, thanks for the great feedback. *packs collapsible sniper rifle & paperclip in briefcase*



  12. No apologies necessary. Break a leg.

  13. Dreams are so 1950. Get with the times, man!

    When I was growing up my dad would come home and pretend to be "Contracting Man!" Who solved all the world's problems by obligating Federal dollars.

    In his falsetto voice he would yell "But does anyone have a pen?"

    Then in his hero voice he'd yell, "Stop, evildoer! I'll sign that contract!"

    Yeah, I grew up with that.


  14. @ dbs: Oh, I did. Several actually. Plus a few arms, two necks & even a spine.

    They made me use the paperclip.

    @ Caleb: Call me an uber-geek if you like but, that.sounds.awesome.

  15. Actually yeah. It kinda was.

    Father worship? I think I just respected his verve. And the way he gazed into the distance as he flourished his signing pen.

    Ahh... dad's so cool.

    Thinking on it, I remember he also would leap into the room and stand defiantly as he went into character. And he did all this for me and my brother's entertainment.

    Now I kind of feel bad for stealing so much of his beer.


  16. *sheepishly puts hand down* I really thought you could see me, what with your spy cam and paperclips.


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