Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Done It My Way

"A man's got to know his limitations.", Dirty Harry Callahan..."Magnum Force".

There comes a time in life when we need to realize that we're just not going to accomplish some of the goals we've set for ourselves.

I don't know if this is a sign of maturity or futility, but it's not necessarily a negative thing.

There were lots of things when I was 16 that I thought I wanted to do. But as I got older, I discovered there were some fairly good reasons that I would never do them.

I wanted to be an actor...not necessarily a "movie star", but a working actor. However, I would learn that it's helpful to have a reservoir of talent to pull from in order to be successful in the theater. But instead of mourning that fact, I found a form of theater that I am good at...improv.

Is taking the stage of ComedyWorx in my spiffy sweats the same thing as starring in "Death Of A Salesman" on Broadway? No. But I still get to perform with my friends and I still get to utilize the talent I do have to make people laugh.

At one time, I really wanted to work in one of the Top 3 markets for my profession...New York, Los Angeles or Chicago. I thought that if I could be in the "Big Time" for just a little while, then my career choice would be validated. A couple of things kept this from happening. The first was distance. Sainted Wife and I are very fortunate in that we like being around our families. We love them and enjoy their company. Any one of those markets would mean that we'd probably only see them once a year...and for a short time at that. I decided that sacrificing family for career wouldn't be worth it. The second factor was that no one in those markets has seen fit to offer me a job, which has made my noble stand slightly less noble, but I still wouldn't change it.

Instead...I've been working for local PBS stations my entire career. I consider it a privilege to work for a network who provides programming I can be proud of. I also consider working for PBS to be my public service.

Some would say that I've given up or settled and truthfully there are days that I wonder what could have been. But to quote the Chairman of the Board..."Regrets, I've had a few. But then again, too few to mention."


Bill O' Rights said...

Dirty Harry Callahan traditionally carried a blue Smith & Wesson Model 29 (N-Frame) in .44 Magnum, although in a later movie an AMT AutoMag made a cameo appearance as Harry's sidearm of choice.

As I recall in the first movie one of the punks that Harry dropped with said .44 was having the opportunity to look down the barrel of the hand cannon as he lay on the ground. When asked by Callahan about the number of rounds fired, the punk eventually succumbs to curiosity and states "I jus' gots to know......".

Not many of us take the time to ponder matters like the punk did, especially when we are young. I think youthful ambition is gradually displaced by a sense of contentment as we move to adulthood. Exceptions exist but I'm pretty comfortable with my life (and myself) as time passes.

I haven't done everything that I dreamed of doing when I was younger, but I have done plenty of neat things in adulthood that I wouldn't have considered when I was younger. I guess it is all a matter of degree....

If I could only get my SS teacher to vote Republican; that would truly cap off a life well-lived. :)

Chris Ayers said...

Life is full of little disappointments...and waiting for your SS teacher to vote Republican is going to be another one.

I'm actually glad when people tell me they're Republicans...because like any bad habit, admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery!