Life Revisited

When I was younger, I always wanted to be a famous singer and song-writer. I could see myself on the stages of Nashville with thousands of adoring fans screaming MY name. I also always wanted to be a famous actress. I could see myself on the red carpet in Hollywood with all the paparazzi chasing me down and snapping off shots of me in the latest fashions. I also always wanted to be a famous artist. I could see myself in a gallery in New York displaying my latest works, whilst the world’s elite and the choicest museums were competing to see who would win one of my masterpieces in a silent auction. I also always wanted to be a famous fashion designer. I could see myself in magazines discussing my latest designs, and it would be my name uttered when stars walked the red carpet and were asked the inevitable, “Who are you wearing?” I also always wanted to be an interior designer. I could see myself redecorating the palatial mansions of the world’s elite, and when one of them ended up on MTV’s Cribs or on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, it would be my name they dropped when asked, “Who did the decorating?” I also always wanted to be a famous writer, with all of my books in the Library of Congress and every other library on the planet, sold in every place that sells books, read as required reading in Universities and High Schools, or for pleasure by anyone who knows how to read, and books on cassette tape, compact disc, VHS, DVD and in Braille or large print for those who could not read the regular versions, and I would always be at the top of the New York Times Best Seller list. I also always wanted to be a teacher, but not just any teacher. I could see myself owning and running the biggest and best educational program in the country, and students would either attend days or nights or overnights, and classes would be in a diverse range of subjects including but not limited to the basic curriculum required by national laws to graduate, and it would be either a boarding school or a non-residential attendance depending on the what the parent’s and student’s chose to do when they enrolled, and there would be both self-paced and classroom curriculum, and even correspondence and online courses, and if something was offered elsewhere that we could not offer there, the student would be allowed to dually enroll or sit in an AV room and take the class via satellite interface. Of course, looking back, all I really wanted was to be rich and popular…The exact polar opposites of the situation I was in as a child. I suppose on some deep and unreachable level I equated money and fame with love, and in some sad ways I still do, though maturity and age have taught me otherwise. I just wanted what I couldn’t have, what I perceived to be a better life. Most of all, I wanted to spontaneously rocket from my place at the bottom of the barrel to live among the Chosen Ones…It was all superstitious childhood nonsense. While I do have some semblance of artistic talent, it is all spread out in a variety of different artistic fields, and even if any of it could make me famous, money does not equal happiness, and the more money you have the more reason you find to spend it. I have come to realize that what I really want, what I really need is inner peace, and I certainly would not find that in high-society. Neither money nor fame can win nor buy happiness, so I must find my own way in life. I must learn to be happy with what I have, and to strive to do my best in all that I undertake, and to live peacefully within myself, whether I am a common laborer or I do somehow rise to fame. I also have realized that I do not want paparazzi chasing me down and people screaming for my autograph. How could such a thing bring about peace and tranquility? It seems to me that it would bring about even more stress. So while I have not given up on my artistic side, I will not let her fanciful dream-filled nature convince me that the only way to happiness is to climb high on the social ladder. I want love and happiness and a modest but comfortable living. I want peace and tranquility and a large and happy family. I want hope for the future, and forgiveness for the past, but I want to live in the here and now. A Global Threat–So, all this is the American dream, a ten hour day and a six day week? You’ve got no life; you let them control you. Fuck the future! Live for now! How can you say there will be a tomorrow? With forty years gone, what do you have left?

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