Basic Parachutist Badge awarded by the United ...
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I’m sure we all remember being asked at some point during our childhood what we wanted to be when we grew up.  It is not until much later that we began to realize the deeper implications of the simple question.  What kind of mark do we want to make in the world?  How do we want to be perceived by others?  Most people are well on their way to figuring this out by the time they’re my age.  When I was little my responses to that question were not very out of place considering I was living on a military base at the time.  I wanted to be a paratrooper and even though I knew I was disabled that had no impact on my choice of career, when I grow up I was going to jump out of an airplane and no one could stop me because the federal government wouldn’t allow it.  I returned home that day and proudly told my mother of my new  found conviction.  The absolute certainty of a nine-year-old is indeed amazing to behold, I am also fairly certain that any parent faced with this wondrous certainty feels like a monster when reality and a firm resolve not to lie to your child forces you to crush it.  My euphoria at my chosen career path lasted only about eight hours because when I got home my mother explained that any branch of the United States military did not necessarily have to play by that particular federal rule, as a matter of fact that one rarely applied to them at all.  I was crushed, although in saying that I believe I have just uttered perhaps the second biggest understatement of my adult life.  It has been over ten years and I still feel cheated despite a very clear understanding of why doing something like that would be impossible.  No vocation as yet manage to awake the same certainty and sense of purpose as that one. I am beginning to wonder if anything else can even come close to that.  I wish I know.

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5 thoughts on “Day fifteen: I wish I knew…

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