When do we change? When do we stop believing we are capable of absolutely anything?
I often ask children what they want to be when they grow up. Whereas the teenagers will answer with a one word sentence...a lawyer or teacher, the younger ones feel no restrictions to name just one occupation. A football player, an artist and the president.
Of the United States? I ask...as if I didn’t know. Yes, they answer confidently. An astronaut, a mommy and vet. Large animals or small animals? I ignore the astronaut thing altogether. A brief pause to seriously consider the question - both - they answer, somewhat perplexed that they would have to make a decision to exclude one category.
I'll be honest. I rolled my eyes at their replies. Smiled and chuckled. Good luck with that...
But then I saw the cupcakes.
I know an acquaintance that made cupcakes for a fundraiser. For me, that would mean Duncan Hinds and ready-made icing. Both chocolate. Sprinkles- if I wanted to make them fancy.
This woman’s cupcakes...I saw the pictures...were a work of art. She took the whole cupcake making very seriously and now she can churn out cupcakes that should grace the cover of a Bon Appetit magazine. She didn’t stop there...she does beautiful jewelry too.
Did I mention she has a full time career in the medical field?
It was this person I thought of when I wrote my first book. She puts her whole heart into what she does...She taught me that, despite being in a demanding field, you can reach higher, push yourself further. You can make art..
And then I went to see my dentist. Along with asking about my kids, the hygienist talked to me about my book. Then she asked if I knew that Dr. Dresser was a musician...
Upon which I gave her an excited, but garbled response (instruments still in my mouth). Dr. Dresser has been my dentist for years. He's also a golfer and if you've met him...you'd get it. Lanky body, kind eyes and a relaxed demeanor. So I thought I knew him. But it turns out that he writes music, plays guitar and has recorded two albums. Steve Dresser on iTunes and Spotify.
That's not him below but a cool picture right?
I read an article on musician-scientists and scientist-musicians. Scientist who study the impact of music on the brain and musicians who do the same. I had no idea that some very famous musicians were scientists too. Mickey Hart, member of the Grateful Dead, has worked with neuroscientist Dr Adam Gazzaley to see how the brain responds to rhythm. Peter Gabriel (Genesis) is an advisor to the Sync Project to measure the structural properties of music (like the beat) on biometrics like the heart rate and brain activity.
Back to those kids.
Why do we limit ourselves to one passion? Why do we think we have to pursue only one objective? Kids know better. And when I look around I see a lot of smart people who have figured it out. You can do absolutely anything you want. Be Anything.
For me that means being a pediatrician, writing books that have heroic girls, quirky aunts and guardian unicorns, playing with spices in new recipes, growing herbs, running...
Hmm, I wonder what it would take to be an astronaut?