My job title stated that I was a human resource specialist, but inside I was an actor and writer. If you were to ask me then what I did for a living, those were the claims I would have given. My office was near Greeley Square and during my lunch breaks and after work, I would sit for a moment and feverishly write. No laptop. Just a pen, paper, and sloppy handwriting. My hand would move rapidly as I created pages and pages of character dialogue, timelines, and notes. The folded park chair was my throne, and I was a god creating people, determining who they were, what they accomplished, and changed their hopes and dreams. Little did I realize that I was in Act 1, sc. i of my play and hopes and dreams were about to transform.
18 years later, with a hot beverage in hand and my butt firmly perched on a folding chair, I looked around the park. There were laptops open and people chatting away. Not much had changed since I first took up residence in the park. I stopped at the park because I had some time to spare before I was to see a movie starring someone I had meant almost 20 years ago in an acting class. The actor has become very rich and famous. As I sat in Greeley Square, I remembered the guy I was. Who believed it was a matter of time before I stood on a stage at an award’s show to accept the best actor trophy for some amazing performance delivered to captivated audiences. Also, I was feeling envious of the talented actor my old classmate had become.
The park had changed little, but I evolved into someone else. My head is no longer full of black hair, but carries a bald spot with a receding hairline that is turning gray. Crows feat has invaded the areas around my eyes. And a youthful jaunt no longer inhabits my every step. They say every year makes you older and wiser. I just feel older.
After the movie, I boarded the subway and stared at the filthy walls flying by past the window. Lost in thought, I contemplated my life’s decisions. There’s little I would change. A few years after my first sit-down with a Horace Greeley backdrop, I took on the greatest role I could have ever received; the role of daddy. My family was my captivated audience and my dreams and goals placed them at the forefront. I don’t need an Oscar, a Tony, or an Emmy since a World’s Greatest Dad mug sits in my hand while wearing a World’s Greatest Dad t-shirt.
Years later, I feel as though I’m in Act 3, sc. i. My hopes and dreams are altered and I’m not the character I used to be. The youthful roles that I partook in no longer interest me. I have no idea how many more scenes I have left and what they will entail, but I know one thing, I don’t like cliffhangers.
Will I chase an old dream now that my kids are older? Perhaps. Will I ever stand on a stage with a captivated audience? Maybe. Will I continue to ask myself questions? Yes.
“Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wings. Only one thing endures, and that is character.” – Horace Greeley