Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Hypothetical Life Reboot

Kat Bouska runs the blog Mama’s Losin’ It, which I just started following. One feature of her blog is “Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop.”

Every week, she publishes a set of writing prompts and invites her readers to reply to one or more of them, then add their name to her Linky and reply to several other people on the list. It looks like great fun, and a good way to expand a blog’s audience.

Today she replied to one of her own prompts:

You HAVE to go back in time and choose a different career path for yourself. What do you choose?

Now, just so everyone knows, this is the prompt that led to yesterday’s post. Thanks to everyone who commented, by the way, and I will reply to all of your comments soon. But, back to the prompt…

When I was a sophomore in high school, the one thing I wanted to be, more than anything else, was a professional musician, specifically a guitarist. (Given how much of this blog is dedicated to music, that probably comes as no surprise.) As is usually the case with fifteen-year-old boys, this desire came behind wanting to date any number of the attractive girls I went to school with. I spent a lot of time thinking about how I was going to manage to ask one of them to go out with me, often at the expense of studying or playing guitar. By junior year, the pressure was on to get into college, and my mental priorities shifted from “girls, guitar, and school” to “girls, school, and guitar.” As a result, my playing hit a plateau, and while I was to play up until the stroke ended any hope of that happening, I was always stuck at the “intermediate” stage.

Were I sent back from my current point (disabled and essentially retired after thirty years in IT) to where I needed to go to start over again, I would return to 1971 (presumably with the faculties I had then) and work my way into being the guitar player I always wanted to be, and spend the rest of my life doing what I love.

Again, I made my choices when I was fifteen and every year since. Some were unconscious choices (probably hormone-driven), some were choices to do what was less important ahead of what was more important (ditto), some were choices I made to please others (guilt-driven), but they were all choices that I made. I’m not beating myself up for them — after all, I’ve had a good life with a career I was good at and enjoyed and a person whom I love more than life itself — but, after all, this was a hypothetical question. ;)

How would you answer the question?




from The Sound of One Hand Typing

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