What do you want to do when you grow up? If you have an answer to this question, it will never change. The years will bring plenty of justifications and excuses, but the child within you knows the truth.
My dream was to be a mountain man, alone in the wilderness. The plan was that on the day I received my draft notice, I would just disappear. As time passed, I gained commitments and responsibilities. The war wound down and my ticket to freedom never came.
As a young family man, I took frequent trips to the nearest mountains and dreamed of building a home in the country. After a few years, these desires were banished to the distant future. Now my goals were to prove myself in business. Always driven by necessity, I accomplished what was needed to function in this life thrust upon me. My greatest accomplishments were generally in fields that, according to an aptitude test I had once taken, I had no propensity.
I had the pleasure to engage in many long conversations with one man who still dealt with his lost dream. As a young man, he planned to paddle across the breadth of Canada by canoe. World War II broke out and at the insistence of his patriotic immigrant father, he enlisted in the Army. Subsequently, he was severely wounded during the invasion of Europe. With his plans dashed, he went on to raise a family and become a respected businessman. Sixty years later, and after a life of many accomplishments, he still yearns for that missed opportunity.
As time passes more quickly than one can imagine, my opportunity came later rather than sooner. After traveling extensively throughout our country, I discovered that the mountains were still there. My opportunity was not lost, only delayed. The question became, would I live the same life in a different place or would I let the kid inside discover what he wanted? Knowing nothing of where we were headed, the choice became simple. Give the kid a chance. Though not a hermit, I finally have my ticket to freedom.