A couple weeks back, my blog pal, Harula, posted a writing exercise. The theme was “Purpose” and the idea was to complete the following four sentences with whatever spontaneous thoughts sprung to mind.
* When I was a child, I believed I was here to…
* As a teenager, I believed I was here to…
* As an adult, I believe I am here to…
* The most important thing life has taught me about why I’m here is…
I decided to give it a go. The answer to the first two prompts are below. I’ll post the next two soon:
When I was a child, I believed I was here to…
…become a “dinosaur expert.” I was fascinated by Stegosaurus and was rooting for the poor devil in his Fantasia fight with Tyrannosaurs Rex. I loved Stegosaurus so much that at times I wanted to be a Stegosaurus. Is that odd?
I also was fascinated by the sheer size of Brontosaurus. He was as long as three city buses laid end to end! Dang! Who wouldn’t want to be a dinosaur expert?
Many years later that I learned that Stegosaurus was extinct by the time T-Rex appeared on the scene, making Fantasia scientifically inaccurate — despite what that egghead Deems Taylor would have you believe. Then I learned that Brontosauruses never existed at all. So The Flintstones? Lies. All lies.
I am still fascinated by dinosaurs today but now possess the self-awareness to understand that I am way too impatient to be a paleontologist.
By the way, my favorite dinosaur has since changed. I am now a fan of Triceratops. Especially the adorable and slightly derpy looking stuffed triceratops who sits on my son’s bed. This fellow has gone by many names over the years. When Alex was three, he called him Oscar Lotion. I have no idea why. Later the name changed to Susie, then Harold Lloyd, and now, simply Triceratops. I call him Oscar Lotion Susie Harold Lloyd Triceratops and pretend he is a prehistoric accountant.
As a teenager, I believed I was here to…
…be an actor. At an early age I noticed that I had a sort of fearlessness in front of crowds and could quickly remember lines. I didn’t do much acting growing up, but what I did was intoxicating. My big high school break was when I played the voice of Audrey Two in our school’s presentation of Little Shop of Horrors. I wanted to be the sadistic dentist, Orin, but I was the only one in the school who could pull off that deep, Ron Taylor voice. In other words, my high school had way too many white people.
In college I lied my way into acting classes (Ha! Acting!). I soon recognized that I liked acting students much, much more than graphic design students. This was kind of a problem because graphic design was my major. Horrified by the idea of actually using this graphic design degree, I contemplated going to acting school. I auditioned for and got accepted into the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in New York before deciding that I have already accrued enough debt, thank you. Besides, I knew that deep down, acting was too uncertain and unstable a career for my personality.
This turned out to be a wise decision, for in tandem with my passion for acting, I had developed a passion for writing. A person can write and hold a steady day job. Four short years after I graduated from college, my day job switched from graphic design to writing. I got my start as a newspaper man and found the experience to be amazing. I wrote during the day for a salary and then wrote at night and on the weekends to draw a supplementary income. In other words, I became a very happy person.
And there you have it! Part two is coming soon.
When you were a kid what did you believe you were meant to do? Tell me in the comments below! C’mon, be a sport!