Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Childhood interests carry into adulthood

I want to point out that the creative pursuits I wrote about in my last blog—my writing, Internet radio show, and comedy— all have roots from my childhood and early adult years. As a little girl I was an avid reader and loved to write stories. I wanted to be like Louisa May Alcott and was so enthralled with the story of her life that I decided I, too, would become a tomboy, a term I imagine these days is politically incorrect (is it now “pre-lesbian”?) Anyway, for my tenth birthday I asked for a football. And nail polish… you know, in case the tomboy stuff didn’t take. It didn’t; note the tiara.

As I mentioned in my first blog a couple of months ago, when I was nine years old, I sent my favorite jokes to Johnny Carson. I was an extremely timid child, so I never would have imagined the performing aspect, but still, the seeds of what would someday lead me to doing stand-up comedy had been planted.

Ballet recitals and cheerleading helped me get over my shyness during my high school years, and both in undergrad at SUNY Plattsburgh and grad school at RPI in Troy, I did a weekly radio show on the campus station. WRPI was a 50,000 watt station and I had a morning show, the first of the day, meaning I had to turn on the transmitter. All by myself. I never really felt comfortable with the technology and breathed a sigh of relief to see the red lights on the transmitter turn to green, and I have to admit that if the Emergency Broadcast System ever issued an alarm on my watch, we’d all be dead.

My point in all this is chances are the activities you enjoyed as a child and young person reflect true interests that bring you joy in adulthood. But along the way something else gets your attention, or maybe someone told you that’s a stupid way to spend your time and so you dropped that interest and took up something else.

I know I’m going to sound like an old person, but I have to wonder about the kids today who spend so much of their waking time in front of the TV and the computer playing games. What kinds of seeds are being planted? What talents are they cultivating for tomorrow?

And what did you like to do as a child? Do you ever do that now? Would you like to?

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