I’m a dreamer if I’m anything.
In the fall of 1980, I had dreams. Dreams of being a war correspondent. I’m not exactly sure why that particular dangerous sector of journalism peaked my interest. I also at one time thought being a plane steward with free worldwide travel would be a cool job. Then I realized how awkward it would be to have a 6’4″ inch man, Lurch, bringing you cocktails and peanuts down an airplane aisle. And the fact I’d probably knock a hole in the plane roof with this huge nog if I was standing during turbulence convinced me to find another line of work in my life.
I took a few quarters at a local college where I majored in journalism and minored in Wendy’s. I was on the college paper staff and really enjoyed that. But soon afterward, adultish thoughts crept in when I found out that journalists don’t make any money. I would need some money in this life.
I had friends in medicine, so that’s where life took me. I jumped off the bridge with my friends in medicine. I liked the science in it, and helping people has always been important to me. So in this case, following my friends was a good choice for me. I’m just glad that I didn’t have friends in calculus.
Working as an EMT, I got married and things were all good. And then one night I worked a wreck on the interstate that changed things dramatically. I came back to base, slammed the door and proclaimed ‘I will NOT be doing CPR, on a fat woman in a Fiat, with barking Chihuahuas up my butt, in a snow storm, on the side of an interstate, when I’m 40!…I’m going to nursing school’. The next day I started checking into nursing schools and settled on MTSU. I had dreams of being a flight nurse. There’s that flying thing again except with blood and IV fluids now instead of martinis.
Very quickly, I had passed the interview and was accepted into nursing school. Before we knew it, like the Clampitts, my wife and I had elicited the help of my sister and her truck. And all of us and my buddy Richard loaded up and moved us to an apartment in Murfreesboro. The only problem with this dream is that neither one of us had gainful employment to fund this particular dream.
Yea, we had a little money in the bank, but her job as a lab tech wasn’t coming through. God bless her, she took a job as a Waffle House waitress and I worked as a waiter in Western Sizzlin to make ends meet. Fast food service was not actually part of our dream. I guess that was a bonus dream.
Sharon had applied at a hospital in Nashville and we had dreams of good money coming in to get me through nursing school. One night while she was behind the Waffle House counter yelling things like ‘rack em and scramble em’ I called that lab director. I literally begged him for her job and assured him of my wife’s laboratory greatness. He paused and told me to go tell her she that had the job. I flew to that Waffle House in my little blue Toyota pickup and like Richard Gere I reached over the counter and pulled that paper cap off her pretty little head and told her she didn’t have to work there anymore! And life happened afterwards and 30 years later we laugh about it but we made it through it.
Recently I’ve returned to my dreams of journalism, just not in a battlefield. As this dream develops I’ll post about it here.
I encourage you to dream! Imagine what COULD happen. Because it all starts with a dream.
I’m a firm believer that a man requires 3 things to have himself a successful life:
Someone to love and share his life with, some bills to keep him up and off the couch,
and some dreams to build his tomorrow.
That’s the best I can tell about it.