I’d hide in the savanna grasses with a large camera on a tripod, capturing images of cheetahs in the wild. I’d travel on huge ships and film whales rising to the surface of the blue-grey waters with blasts sprayed as if on cue. I’d write for the nature magazines and they’d feature my award-winning shots.
I wanted to be a nature writer. I wanted to travel the globe and study animals in their natural habitats. I had big, beautiful ambitions of doing so — but the reality is bugs eating you alive. Heat bearing down on you and searing thirst. Snowy weather white-outs and puddle-jumper planes. Oh, and it isn’t free to be a globe-trotter, apparently.
When you are a kid the sky is the limit, pardon the cliché. You don’t think in terms of monetary investment, health risk, or even in terms of the availability of opportunity. You just think “I want to, therefore I WILL.”
What is it that you dreamt of becoming when you were a child? Does it resemble anything in your life right now? Perhaps the dream was replaced later on by an even bigger dream that you are pursuing? — writing prompt, by Christina Ward 🌼
The dream lives on — in different ways.
For me, I still watch wildlife. I do take pictures — only I use my handy dandy cell phone and not some fancy-schmancy camera get up. True, sometimes watching the wildlife means I am following a particularly interesting red ant in my driveway, or a green inchworm climbing up my arm, or my pet chickens as they cluck and scratch their circles in my yard — but I feel no less important in these moments than if I were a wildlife biologist on a mission to document the migration of flamingos.
Also, I do my nature writing. Mostly I write nature-infused poetry and I am told it’s kinda my thing. I write about the little parts of nature that people forget are special. I write for things that need a voice. That, to me, is a beautiful calling — and I am ok with it.
The trick is not to berate yourself for not achieving that dream — exactly — but to give yourself a whole lot of wiggle room for adaptation. There is no reason the wildlife biologist child within me can’t come out to have a little fun right?
She actually came out to play today on my front deck — as I tried very hard to snap off just one picture of a Carolina chickadee who was giving me the slip. I swear, that little thing knew I was trying to get a picture — even taunted me with his chicka-dee-dee-dee-dee.
But, for a moment, the dream lived.