When I was 12 years old, I don’t remember what I said I wanted to be when I grew up.
I remember what my classmate Shannon said, though. He wanted to be a bulldozer owner/operator. He had it all worked out. He was going to get a secondhand dozer, live in a trailer, and work six days a week while he saved money—first for a nicer dozer, and then for a nicer home. Said if he was careful, he could retire by 50 and do whatever he wanted for the rest of his life, never having worked for The Man.
I don’t have much memory of Shannon outside of Mrs. Robertson’s fifth-period science class. But I still think of him often when I see a bulldozer on a trailer going down the road. A cursory online search doesn’t reveal any evidence that he carried out his plan as envisioned 30+ years ago (which, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean he didn’t). I like to think, whatever he did with himself, he moved with that purpose and conviction.
I probably needed a livelier step, a heavier step, or both at various points in my past. I think a lot of us can say that. There isn’t much point in looking back to self-flagellate, though—only to learn. Where do I need more purpose and conviction now? Can I identify two or three solid arenas and crank it up?