When I Grow Up...

The circus, under the big top, three rings of adventure...I gazed upward in awe, enthralled by the young woman sailing above me on the largest swingset I had ever seen.  I wanted to be her.  I was ten.

Time stopped for me during that trapeze act.  She performed stunts and acrobatics with ease and grace. Her body flew forward and back, accelerating, until she flung herself into the air, reaching toward her partner.  I wanted that freedom.

When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, most of my answers were typical--school teacher, nurse, model--but for a few years I told them a trapeze artist.  That fixation usually turned a few adults' heads.

I still love high thrill adventure (see this previous post: She Flies Through the Air ).   I'll never fly on the trapeze, and I'm OK with that.  I found other dreams to pursue.

The one dream I never gave up on was to be a writer.  I work on this every week.  It will happen.  I believe it.  I refuse to accept anything different.  I might not get rich doing it (few authors live on their writing income alone), but it's not about the money.  It's about writing because I must.

I'm sure the trapeze artist of my childhood felt a similar passion for sailing through the air.  Let's face it, you don't fling yourself thirty feet above the ground because it pays the bills.  You do it because you must.

Many of our dreams fade as we grow.  Others stay with us.  What are yours?  Any surprises out there?


Wayne G. said…
I think you achieved your freedom. Your mind is your trapeze. You use it to reach higher and farther, and when you are ready you release yourself to sail into the unbound space of thoughts and ideas. Your graceful words are your acrobatics, designed to spellbind and awe your audience. Your audience is your keyboard and the internet. Fly. Spread your wings and fly.
Vonda Skelton said…
Beautiful post, Barbara. Yes, you ARE a writer--as evidenced right here!
Uncle Wayne, you brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for your kind words. FYI, you are a writer, too!
Vonda, It means a lot to gain affirmation from an author I admire. Thank you so much.
Carolyn Knefely said…
As a gifted writer, Barbara, you turned your childhood dream into a reality.

Write on.
Susan M. Boyer said…
I wanted to be a great many things at different times between the ages of 6 and 26. :) Lawyer, actress, dancer, teacher, social worker--I'm sure there are phases I've forgotten. I don't recall ever wanting to be in a circus, but now I think about it, being a trapeze artists might be fun. But always, I've loved books and wanted to write.

Notice that nowhere on the list is computer programmer, systems analyst, or project manager, which was my actual career path for most of my adult life. It sort of happened to me when I wasn't looking. :)

I agree with Vonda--you ARE a writer--as are all who craft sentences from raw words and use them to construct paragraphs that form stories. :)
Henry said…
Writer = person who writes
You = person who writes
You = Writer

And people say you never get to use the math you learn in school.
Heidi said…
I still dream of being a steadily working actress who can fly her family to LA for holidays, etc. Or at the very least, can make a living doing just that.
p.s.- Mom, they have a trapeze school in Santa Monica...just sayin
Valerie Norris said…
Same dream, ever since I was little. To be a writer. I don't think it's going to fade away.
So many interesting comments. Thanks everyone for your encouragement! Heidi, so how much is the trapeze school? ;)
I wanted to be a journalist. I guess sometimes I get to play one, when I report what I learn at writer's conferences on my blog.

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