Goals. Ambitions. Dreams. Desires. Apparently, you’re supposed to have some. Let’s just say that my dreams, my sex life, and my Lamborghini are all remarkably similar, in that they’re all imaginary.
Living in survival mode – just getting by from the moment you open your eyes each day to when you close them at the close of it – doesn’t really afford you much vision for the future. Not when you can’t even see past dinner tonight, let alone five years down the road.
I used to have desires and aspirations, sure. Everyone does. Some dreams are just not all that realistic, so maybe you tweak them along the way into something more workable. Or perhaps you drop one dream for another. Or maybe you get beaten down enough by life and just stop imagining that dreams are something you get to have any more. Existence, isn’t that enough of a challenge? Must we complicate things by placing expectations on ourselves to achieve goals and dreams? That seems a tad much.
I once dreamed of being a published author. I mean, okay, so I am…technically, but not the way I meant. I’ve had writing published, but I’ve never written a BOOK. I’ve not published a novel. That’s what I envisioned in my youth. Short stories, novels. I have a lot of half-finished stories and books, that’s true, but what writer doesn’t? I had a newspaper column for a while. Wrote here (or the previous iteration of 2HT, anyway) for years. Before this, I was blogging before the word “blogging” or “weblog” was coined. And I’ve written tons and tons of thrilling instruction manuals and policy guides as a technical writer, but none of that is going to hit the New York Times Bestseller list anytime soon.
I also felt certain I would have a place in the world of animation, doing silly cartoon voices. As I got older, I still had that vision, but I also added voiceover work, especially after I was in radio for a short stint. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told I have a pleasing voice, that they enjoy hearing me tell stories, something that might even work for audiobooks. Most flattering to be told that by people who hate being read to (and I’m one of them). But the cartoon voices…I would love that. I mean, I used to would have loved it. Ahem. I’ve even been told I ought to make ASMR videos. The first few times I was told that, I remember distinctly saying, “ASM what now?”
Comedy, I’ve fantasized about being a stand-up comic. Out of all the dreams, this one seems the most absurd to me, if only because it seems impossible to ever come to fruition. I have fairly debilitating social anxiety. And like the vast majority of people, I am terrified at the thought of public speaking. Stage fright wouldn’t even begin to describe it. I’ve got a better shot at being on the Americans’ Olympic synchronized swimming team this month than I do being a stand-up comedian.
I’m a decent singer. I’m not great, I’m not horrible. Hosting karaoke would seem to me to be about as good as I could hope for in the music/singing line of work. I have thoughts on ways to host that would be something different for karaoke, ways to make it more fun. I really don’t feel like doing much in the way of local karaoke anymore…it’s how I caught COVID and that’s not something I’m looking to repeat. Especially when I live in an anti-science county where people feel being told to wear a piece of cloth over their nose and mouth for 5 minutes while they pick up some eggs and milk is tantamount to taking a huge steaming dump on the Constitution and then wiping their ass on the American flag while kneeling during the national anthem.
Radio, music. Lately, I’ve given though to that again, hosting a show of some sort. I’ve been singing a lot on Smule, too, enjoying KGFA, one of the Smule radio stations out there. I’ve also been looking at podcasting again, very interested in giving that another go. Totally different this time, but I could even see using music to tie in with the theme of that week’s podcast. I have much to learn about podcasting. Things have changed since the Blog Talk Radio days. But I am leaning in that direction.
All of the above things, I could see enjoying.
For my therapy homework, I’m supposed to look at all the things I think I would enjoy doing and find ways to make them happen. Because if you’re paying bills by doing what you love doing, it’s hardly like work, right? She’s trying to spark dreams and ambitions in me again, I suppose, and it’s a good notion. I get it. We all need a reason to get up every day, and I have very few. Enjoying work, finding it satisfying, is a marvelous thing and would certainly make life feel more purposeful, as opposed to now.
I have friends I could approach about some of these ideas/career paths. And I feel incredibly weird about it, like I’d be exploiting these relationships. My therapist disagrees. So do other friends. These are friends, if you can’t approach them, then who CAN you approach? Yeah yeah, I know, so why do I feel like I’d be taking advantage of relationships?
I am going to start writing again. Here, as a starter. I don’t know that anything substantive will come of it, but that isn’t the point this time. I’ve said many times in recent years that I feel like I’ve run out of words, I’ve said what I have to say. I still feel like that a lot, but other times not so much.
I’m going to start…something. Because doing nothing isn’t working. I mean, it works for getting by day to day. It works for survival. But survival isn’t LIVING, it’s just existing. I don’t know that there is more than that for me any more, but doing nothing is not the way to disprove it.
Maybe I didn’t ask to be invited to this dance, but I may as well at least enjoy the music while I’m here.