Saturday, 25 February 2012

What Do You Want To Do When You Grow Up?

Taking yet another trip down Memory Lane, I found some of my old drawings and some of my brother's too. Those were the days. When you were free to let your imagination run wild and believe that you can do any career you so desire. I regret I do not feel the same these days and corporateness, institutionalisation and having to 'tow the party line' tries to beat the individualism out of you. In many cases it sees to succeed and people meekly oblige their masters, for a multitude of reasons.

Imagine the disappointment, as a nine-year-old boy being told by your doctor that it was a physical impossibility that you were ever going to fulfill your chosen career.

'You're already taller than the average jockey,' he advised. 'Just you wait until you start putting on the weight. It is unlikely anyone is going to employ a 6' 6", 16 stone plus person to ride their horses.'

He was right, of course. More right than I thought at the time. I'll show him, I thought. But the only thing I showed was a copy of my Birth Certificate to the ticket inspector on the train, who refused to believe that I was young enough to be entitled to half price travel.

'C'mon sonny. Pull the other one,' they would always say.

'I'm only 10,' I'd sob.

In the bizarre twists of fate life offers up, my brother seemed to want to be a bus driver. Though quite what they were teaching him at school with his belief that moles can tell your fortune ... So it is ironic that I became a bus driver. An accidental bus driver, because I should have been the next Lester Piggott.

Did my brother become the famous rider? No. Perhaps life is not so ironic after all.

1 comment:

  1. I love the innocence of these pictures, yes it takes me back to that simpler time when life was so much easier. I understand the 'When you were free to let your imagination run wild and believe that you can do any career you so desire', but having returned to full time education two and a half years ago, one of my prime motivators being in this environment is the opportunity to let my imagination run wild, and I do believe I can do any career I want. I'm no Pollyanna, but I do believe in dreaming, but I think we now need to refer to it as 'reflection' in order to maintain an air of credibility and a sense of grounded theory. In any case, one could argue it is the lack of imagination and dreaming that makes us fall into the rut of being stifled, stereotyped and pushed to conform. Don't let go of this, the very fact you blog is proof of dreaming and imagination. I've begun to blog and find it immensely cathartic, but I need to lessen the academic rhetoric and write about the matters of the soul. Never forget - growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional. As the song says, 'may you remain forever young'!