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Do you remember when you were a kid and your teacher asked “What do you want to be when you grow up”? You would hear answers from every kid in the class. I want to be a Fireman, I want to be a cop, I want to be a doctor, I want to be a veterinarian, a teacher, a judge, a dentist, a nurse, a astronaut. Did you ever hear I want to be a plumber, I want to be a janitor, a garbage man, a dishwasher, a wine-o, a welfare case. I’m sure you have all heard this phrase before “If I Only New Then What I Know Now”. But we didn’t know what lied ahead of us, we where eager kids with minds like a sponge taking in everything we could. But there where lots of people around us that did know how there dreams never came, and how to guide us to make sure we stayed on the right path.
I still remember my answer to that question many years ago; I said that I wanted to be an astronomer. I loved the stars, the moon and the planets, and I did believe that space was the final frontier (yes star trek was my favorite show). I wished I was the captain of my own ship so that I could see space up close. But I always went to a new school every year so I would act like I was on a ship, exploring new life and civilizations. But as time went on I would hit detours that would guide me off my path, and as time went on it seemed like I would hit more detours and was way off the path that I had set my ship to for becoming an astronomer. When I got older I started to meat the wrong civilizations, I would try new foods and drinks from there planet. Some of these would make me sick, but for some reason I would want to try them again. But before long I was off to a new world or galaxy to meat new life. But I would always find these civilizations that I had begun to like, and it seemed they all had the same sort of diet. It also seemed that they each had a new food that I would try, but I was to the point where I wanted to try new things and after awhile I wanted it all. Before I new it I was sucked into a black hole and I couldn’t find my way out. I tried looking for familiar face or hear a familiar voice but couldn’t see or hear anything. When I finally did see somebody I recognized I asked him “What happened? Where are we?”, but he just looked at me with a strange look on his face and answered “What do you mean we didn’t go anywhere, I told you not to eat all the foods and drinks together”.
I suddenly realized that I had taken to many detours in my life and that I needed to find my way back to that first path that I had started on many years ago. The problem was that I had started so long ago and had tried so many different foods and drinks on my voyage, that it clouded my memory on where I had started from or where I was even headed. After a few years of searching, I seen a light at the end of a tunnel. I took all of my strength and determination to free myself from my imprisonment. Things looked much different now and I found it more difficult to read the signs, but strength and determination led me on. Then one day I saw a sign that I recognized and followed it. Soon one sign led to another and after awhile I saw a path I remembered and after time I found my destination. But it was too late; the place I wanted to go to many years ago was now closed. I thought that I was to late now to become the person I wanted to be so long ago. As I looked down the path that I had started on, I saw a sign down the path so I went down to read what it said. What I red put tears in my eyes, for it red “Detour”, but all those years ago when I was young and eager I never finished reading the rest of the sign, “Small bump in path, but if you really want to get to where you are going proceed with caution”.
In life there will be many detour signs and bumps on your trails to succeed, but if we would take a moment to read the whole sign we would see that nothing will stand in our way. So ask your kids, nephews, nieces, and friends kids “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, and do everything that you can to make sure that they stay on the correct path and to never be fooled or distracted by signs. But be sure to let them know that they are the only thing that can stop them from being whatever they want to be. For I went back to the closed gate to find a small message that on the door that red “It’s never too late to become what you want to be, we have moved to a new location. Just stay on this path”.