This morning I wandered Costco. That is a dangerous activity. Usually wandering Costco costs me 200 bucks. Today I was very disciplined; I didn’t even purchase a shirt, a giant tub of chocolate almonds, or a pre-lit Christmas tree! I was there to look at the books.
I walked to the book section and circled the book tables a couple of times. I fanned the pages and ran my hands across the covers. What would it take to see a book at Costco with my name on it? A book written by me? Where did those authors start? What was their first step? What was the risk that they took?
When I was in high school and college, I wanted to be a Doctor. I’m not exactly sure why, but it sounded very exciting to me. To feed my interest I read books and watched reality T.V. programs about doctors. I also religiously watched ER; my brother even made a tape of the sound-track for me so I could listen to it in my car.
In college I majored in Biology and was on track to apply for medical school. I didn’t get straight A’s, but I did work really hard and my grades reflected that. By the time I reached my junior year, it was time to study and take the MCAT. This is an exam that determines eligibility to med school, along with other factors.
I decided not to do it.
I’m not sure if I was tired of going to school, or I had genuinely lost interest, or if I was scared to try. I really don’t remember. It was probably a combination of all of those things.
I regret that.
Maybe I wasn’t meant to be a doctor.
Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten in to med school.
Maybe I would have.
Maybe I would have been a fantastic doctor.
Maybe my life would be totally different from how it is now, or maybe it would be exactly the same.
The regret is that I did not try. It was my dream. I should have pursued it. I should have taken the risk.
Obviously I have had a lot of other dreams since my early twenties. Many of them have come true, and are better than I imagined. Other dreams have been epic failures. I did everything I could to succeed, risked it all, and still, it failed. I didn’t fail. My dream failed. I am still standing, and learning and growing, and dreaming anew.
Maybe I can survive failure?
Now there is another dream that I have. A dream that is alive and breathing, and it’s not too late. I can hear it in my head. It is the dream to be a writer. It’s a dream that I have always kept tucked away, safe in the confines of my own mind. Sure, I have dabbled at it here and there, but I have never really gone for it. I know why. It is easier to think about that dream, and visit it, and imagine what “could have been,” than to actually risk it.
Once I let it out of the box it may take flight, or not. It may be a short-lived phase that fills a gap in my employment, or it may be the beginning of an even bigger and wilder dream.
I am going for it.
(PS. The exterminator comes tomorrow. I will fill you in)