I am now recalling a conversation I had with one of my classmate. This was way back in the nineteen sixties. She was a year or two younger than me. She asked me a question that had stayed with me all these years. I think it will stay with me forever.
She asked a question which was very common, nothing out of the ordinary. But the comment she made on my answer was what stayed with me. It didn’t caused me sleepless nights when the conversation was over but as as the years progressed it started to dawn on me how wise my friend was.
Through the ages this innocent question has been asked by thousands, if not millions, by people off their friends. It is nothing more than “What do you want to be”? At that stage of my life, I had many different ideas of who I wanted to be. Options floated in and out of my mind, some staying longer than others. How did this state of affair come to be? Simple, I was then a young man whose feet were not firmly on the ground. What I thought I wanted to be at any given moment then was definitely not based on anything solid. What my chosen ambition was at any point of time then depended on what was the subject, thing or person that had caught my interest or imagination. I would like to be a lawyer one day, a social worker the next, a diplomat the day after and it went on, and on.
When the question was put to me by my friend, I was caught a bit off guard, so to save myself from embarrassment, I blurted out – ‘a writer’. I gave this answer because I was praised by my English teacher in one of my essays sometime prior this conversation and also I had always have a keen interest in reading. Subconsciously I gave an answer that at least had some basis to it.
My friend asked -“Have you practise writing anything”? Again my ego was dealed another blow. I had to admit I had not done anything. Then came the punch that left a deep imprint in my memory. “How can you hope to be a writer if you don’t start practicing. You should you know”.
This sentence is the good advice I have mentioned earlier and it is one I didn’t take up. I regret for ignoring it for had I taken up the advice I might have been a writer now whose works are read by millions. Instead I end up being a blog writer whose pieces are read only by a few hundreds (and that is also because these people happened to come across the articles by accident).
Any young persons who happen to read this, my advice is, if you have an ambition make sure you practise and hone the skills required in your chosen professions. Don’t make the same mistake I had made.
May your feet be firmly on the ground and may your dreams be fulfilled.