“someday these childish dreams must end, to become a man and grow up to dream again”
– bruce springsteen, “two hearts”
i used to spend a lot of time dreaming. visualizing. pretending. i was a baseball player in the world series, hitting a tennis ball deep into the woods in the field down the street from my house. i was a basketball player with the game on the line, imitating michael jordan’s famous fadeaway on my sloped driveway, hoping someone would see me swish the shot. i was an actor in my own little action movie, diving across my living room couch while shooting the bad guys. i was a famous musician, standing in awe at the 20,000 fans who had come to sing my songs back to me (ok, some dreams never die).
of course, none of these dreams came true. i wasn’t blessed with the size or ability to become the next ichiro or michael jordan. i could never summon the fearlessness or drive to pursue music or acting in any professional way. dreams and passions became hobbies. hobbies were pushed aside for pragmatic pursuits until they faded so deeply into the background that they were nearly forgotten.
this is not a unique story.
as we get older, and the clock starts ticking, we grapple with the compromises we’ve made and what matters most. what did we sacrifice of ourselves to get the things we needed or wanted most? what were the things that got left behind that used to define us? do they still define us? what compromises are we not willing to make?
there was one other dream i had when i was younger, one that took me well into my early-twenties. i had a green, spiral-bound notebook with the words “the star paper” written on the cover in black ink. each day, i would write a story in that notebook, featuring my fictional reporter john pickley. mr. pickley would report on the goings-on of this fictional town i had created, even one time getting himself into a car accident while covering a disaster. oh, he also covered a young two-sport athlete who somehow played first-base for the new york yankees and point guard for the chicago bulls.
while i may have had some talent in those other arenas, this was the one thing that i could truthfully see myself doing as a career. it became yet another passion of mine, but one that i occasionally got noticed for. even during college, i was published in several major new jersey newspapers. i started my own bill simmons-esque website called “hand me the sports page,” started making connections and even had interviews at espn and nbc.
the recession happened. the interviews continued to come, but the offers didn’t. when they did, the salary figures were less than my part-time job at a public library. i was deflated. i lost passion. i lost focus. i moved onto something else, and have made a successful career out of it for nearly a decade.
but, it’s been feeling like time to “grow up and dream again.”
the mission statement of the flyover is just that: a rededication and recommitment to myself, to this craft, and to an audience. the flyover will hopefully come to serve as a “quick stop on your way,” a place with lasting content that you will want to visit on a daily basis. we know your time is valuable and limited, and will strive to post content worthy of that time and a larger audience.
who knows where this will lead. but i’m excited for the journey…