Friday, September 23

Dreams And Ambition

I picked up part of a conversation a schoolgirl was having with a granny on the bus this morning. Something about her wanting to become some kind of designer when she comes to picking a career. This got me thinking - despite dreams not usually panning out anyway, I'm not sure if I wanted to be anything in particular when I was growing up. I mean there was no ambition to become a footballer, doctor, popstar, pilot or anything.

I remember we were once told in English class to write down where we hoped to be in twenty years or so. I wrote that I wanted to work in an office, live in Leyton and drive a mid-sized Ford, while making enough money to keep my family comfortable and happy. I guess that was my ambition then and was the reason behind my studying hard and living how I did while growing up; that was enough to drive me, and I like to think it drove me well.

Of course like other dreams and plans this has not gone quite the way I planned it. It seems that this was all as ambitious for me as becoming a doctor or race-car driver might be for someone else (which is ironic since I had enough smarts to become at least the former). The effects are the same though; there are times when my drive wanes and I wonder what the point of having a good job and relatively sensible lifestyle is and whether I should have bothered in the first place.

Of course this is all silly as fatalistic as one who regrets never making it as an astronaut or actor. And there are good things that come from this apparent failure too, like the various projects and activities I find myself taking part in instead. I just wonder how the schoolgirl on the bus this morning will handle her possible failure at achieving her dream of becoming a designer, 'cos despite us having that failure in common if she does, I think I'm doing pretty well handling mine.

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