There’s a time in life when we all dream big. When I was a child, I wanted to be an oceanographer or veterinarian. Astronaut was up there too. Even writer. But then something happens. We turn twelve and magic starts to disappear from the world. There is no Santa Claus. Mommy and Daddy work all day to keep a roof over our heads. They’re not particularly happy with their jobs. We start to understand that there’s a reality that exists in the world that doesn’t care much about our dreams. And so we finish High School, go to college and get a job doing something that someone is willing to pay us for. If they pay us a lot, it’s a better deal. In the real world.

Sometime in my last year of college, I found advertising. I was a natural at getting people to think about things differently. Over the last 13 years, I’ve made a decent living doing it. But it’s not something I always dreamed about doing. And now that advertising has all but disappeared as my priorities shift to marketing, I sometimes find myself wondering what happened to my dreams. I certainly didn’t grow up dreaming about being a marketing guy. No, I no longer wish to be an oceanographer or veterinarian, but over the past 20 years or so, I would have loved to have gotten involved with baseball in some capacity. Or working with Disney as an imagineer. Hell, I’d still love to do those things. But the one thing I know I have some direct control over, is writing stories that make people feel things and think about things differently. Right now, I don’t get paid to do this. So I strap on my work boots and get in line with everyone else who has left dreams behind in order to chase the money that is supposed to get us to a place where we can be truly happy. But to me – being rich is not really a dream. Filling my days with work that I truly and absolutely love and that positively affects other people is my dream now. And if Disney or the Miami Marlins came calling – I would drop everything and run in that direction. And make up for lost time.

We have two young daughters. It’s been a challenge for me to encourage them to keep dreaming and believing when I know first hand how that works. Hopefully, my wife and I are instilling in them enough reality to balance their dreams as they continue to mature into the world. But I can’t imagine there’s a more influential example than their own father reaching for and grabbing hold of his own.

Every day, a step in a certain direction. Every day, making ends meet. Every day, continuing to dream.


Jim Mitchem

A Minor Veteran
Writer's Block

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.