What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
So, Alissa and I are taking a class at our church. It’s one of those classes to help you find out what your gifts are and how you can put them to good use in and outside the church. Our homework this week is to apply the metaphor of this poem to our own lives.
Of course, that begs the question: what dreams have I deferred?
Well, I’m pretty happy in my marriage and family life, so I look to vocation. I have a boring job. It make no bones about it. It’s boring. It doesn’t challenge me. It doesn’t engage my mind. But, it pays the bills and I work with and for good people at a good company. It simply means that I can’t let my identity be wrapped up in my day job. I can deal with that.
But what did I dream of as a child? Well, I had a lot of the usual boyhood interests: firefighter, paleontologist, baseball player, test pilot, all that good stuff. As I approached junior high, I wanted to be a vulcanologist and later an aerospace engineer then an ecologist. You may be noticing a lot of science there, and you’re probably wondering how I ended up with a degree in politics.
In a word: Algebra 2. Algebra was fine. I liked geometry, mainly for the logic. But Algebra 2 was a wall that I barely hauled myself over with a C after two tries. To this day, I do not understand what quadratic equations are and why they are so important.
I went back for a little more punishment in trig, but after that, I called it a math career (I even got my college requirement via Politcal Science Research Methods). Of course, that dampened my prospects of being a scientist. I love the ideas of science, but my mind is just not wired precisely enough to handle the complex math. Another way of putting it is that you really don’t want me designing an airplane that you are in or under.
My interests changed, morphing from journalism to international relations, to politics. Each step had its reasons, none of whish is critically important, although the transition into politics did involve the hubris of openly and unironically stating that I wanted to be President. That youthful arrogance has been tempered with age and the knowledge that this blog alone would make me unelectable.
The thing is that no matter what else I wanted to be when I grew up, I was always writing something and I was always outspoken about politics, even to the point of leading a successful boycott of the school cafeteria in second grade because the milk was too warm.
Well, life goes on. College ended on a rough note and I moved to Seattle where I found my future and a career in accounting departments that have nothing to do with politics or writing.
So what happened to my dreams of poltical or writtten greatness?
Well I started a blog.
Actually, that’s only part of it. I’ll tell you the rest tomorrow.