You there! Yes, you, you haven’t heard of me? Seriously, where HAVE you been? Now, that’s how I interpret what the picture would present if a bit of quirky dialogue was added to it. Let me tell you a little something about this guy… or does he even need an introduction? Quite possibly no! This is the man/thing/time-lord that just about every boy my age I knew wanted to become when I was young. Well, apart from those kids with an addiction to playing football. Why kick a leather ball around for the rest of your life when you can explore vast galaxies and save the Earth from complete destruction on countless occasions? Your loss, buddy! I remember in primary school, one of my friends in particular just used to sit there drawing picture after picture of this ‘regenerating legend’ and his next dysfunctional adventure. ‘Do you think I could become Doctor Who, miss?’ he bellowed with a child-like enthusiasm. Now, my teacher could have denied him his dreams right there, at that time. But she didn’t. She told him, ‘You can be whatever you want to be, Adrian!’. Yeah that’s right, friends, anti- climax! That “friend” was me. I wanted to grow up to be him – but would it always stay this way?
I never tend to read The Guardian, but an article posted today really did draw me in. *Applause*, bravo for reeling in a new reader! Anyway, the article reminisced about the days when as children, we could sit there doodling prosperously for hours about our future careers. Can I be the wildest cowboy in the west? You go ahead, kid. Can I be a knight who fights dragons for a day job? You can be the best! Yet, there was a reference to the current infamous recession; how it will become difficult for today’s youth to get ANY sort of job, let alone be Doctor Who. So, we stop aiming. We stop aiming for those stars and return to that gutter in Planet Earth.
My childhood dream of fighting the Daleks on a daily basis has been long dead. After much suppression and several new faces for the Doctor later, my career path is, well, in a completely different universe. Today I aspire to become a journalist, to pick up a pen in place of a sonic screwdriver. I do feel happy about my life choice, I have a passion for writing and presenting my opinions to others. Yet… didn’t we feel happy about our choices as kids? Didn’t we have that freedom to just be whoever we wanted as kids? I have what I had then, but that’s not important today. What’s important for us today is that we have enough ‘wonga’ in our back pockets to create a life for ourselves. The first time you have a part-time job is the scariest; but then you become used to the world of work. You recieve that first wage slip, along with a bonus smile on your face at the thought of how much amazingly useful/useless stuff you can buy with it. For me, I guess I was thankful that my parents, my teachers and society in general told me that I needed something secure in my life. That metaphorical kick up the backside is what we need to realise that life is a lot tougher than we used to think as a child. Times are tougher, jobs are harder to find and we need to show employers why it is us who deserve that job; not that ‘Joe Blogs’ kid who’ll fight (hopefully not literally) to the death for that last job post. Okay, so realism is what we need. Yet, why does that mean we should have to shoot down our dreams in the process?
My answer? Don’t – those dreams shouldn’t have to be brutally silenced. We should just have to put a realistic twist on that picture we drew in our younger years.
‘The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra’. Ohhh Jimmy Johnson, he has just sneakily answered my point without even realizing – what a guy. We shouldn’t have to see that ‘extra’ as a barrier which says ‘Kid, grow up, forget your dream and move on’. I see it as a way of transforming our childhood dreams into our lifelong careers. For the kid who wants to be the wildest cowboy in the west, how about you learn to get a ‘faithful steed’ of your own and be a jockey? Or embrace the ‘wild’ part of the West and have an adventurous career exploring vast tropical jungles in South America? These are jobs that society sees as being ‘realistic’; but deep down that child you used to be knows why you wanted to do that job – and he’s bloody proud of you for doing it.
Sure, I put the sonic screwdriver down and stopped living in my own, little, inter-galactic world. But, I picked up a tool that’ll help me explore the large, realistic world that I live in now. I’ll enjoy working, I’ll have a paycheck in hand AND – not a Dalek in sight. *Phew*, that sounds much better, doesn’t it?