Perspectives on Life and Death – Part II
Wow, am I remiss. How time flies and you don’t even know it. I’m amazed. I said I’d post Part II a week later. Now, it’s been a month. I promised to talk about our personal lives, what brings life and death to our dreams, visions for our life, and relationships.
Death to Dreams
I could write a book on this. I’ve had so many dreams for life die that I can’t even remember them all, so I’ll just mention a few.
You’ve heard about my M*A*S*H script. (see post here.)That was my first dream to die. I wanted to be a Hollywood scriptwriter, and I think I would have been pretty good – but I never got the chance. Well, I suppose I could have uprooted my immature self to L.A. back in my 20s, but the operative word here is “immature.” Looking back, I’m actually glad I didn’t. I know my parents would never have approved, because they’d raised me, and they instinctively knew Hollywood would have eaten me alive. I have a cousin who moved to L.A. for a while, when she was in her 20s, trying to become an actress. She gave it a year or two, but couldn’t get much of anything. She decided to become a kindergarten teacher (she played one on some sort of commercial video – I actually came across it one day on TV and saw her. She’s very photogenic.) She met the man she would marry there, and they moved back to Kansas City. But my cousin Kim Roembach-Ratliff has been and still is – a wonderful teacher. Way to go, Kim!
So I think to myself, okay, I won’t be a Hollywood scriptwriter. What else can I do? I got a master’s degree in communication and tried to find jobs in local broadcasting stations. It took nearly two years before I got my first radio job. The nice people at that Christian radio station put two jobs together just for me – the problem was – I hate sales, and I’m not good at it. So, after three or so months of virtually no sales, I’m fired.
Okay, what else can I do? I thought, broadcast news. So I get a job in Topeka, Kansas at a local radio station as a news anchor/reporter. I did okay, except when I got nervous. And when I got nervous, I stumbled over words. When did I get nervous? When I would be told the station manager was listening. Sometimes I would just have a bad day, but…well, then I did something really stupid. They’d given me a little feature called “Money Minute.” Five little one-minute public service announcements on a single theme in a week. I did all right with that too, until I did a series on used cars. Eek. I guess I made it sound like all used car salesman and lots were crooked and trying to take advantage. Nothing could have been further from my intentions, but that did it for me. I was fired again.
I won’t give you my whole employment history. I was fired from positions before I even got to those two radio jobs. It was beginning to get ridiculous. I already had rejection syndrome, which I didn’t even know about, then to get fired from multiple jobs is almost the ultimate rejection for someone like me, who is trying to prove I’m worthy of existing.
Would there be anything I could succeed at?
Fast forward about 30 years. One more time, I’m trying something new and different. I wanted to be a certified teacher with a particular ministry. I had done everything I could to do the way they wanted it. But I messed up their protocol in an important way that showed I wasn’t where I thought I was in readiness to become certified. By the time I was ready, things had changed there, and I couldn’t get anyone on the phone.
This was the hardest dream of all to die to. It hurt so badly. I did try to come up with another direction quickly. That’s when I started my chocolate business in 2007. But it never did what I thought it would do, either. So I closed it down last year.
In the midst of the almost 40 years it’s been since college, the one thing I’ve tried time and again and keep coming back to – is writing. Couldn’t make a real living at it, didn’t pay enough. But I’m trying another type of writing now – fiction. We’ll see.
I’m finding life in writing. Even if I never make a penny at it, I’m going to write. I’m going to write compelling stories that change peoples’ lives and point them to Christ. I’m going to hopefully encourage others in life and writing. I’ve learned so many “processes” I’m still processing about life. One of these days, I’ll talk about them again.
A woman got baptized in our church this weekend. She came to Christ from reading Christian novels. I’ve heard people say they won’t waste their time reading Christian fiction. Wow, are they ever missing out. Last week I talked about this in my post The Power of Story.
What about you? We’ve all had dreams die. Tell me about one of yours, what you did about it, and where you are now. Leave a comment and let me know.