I have had a dream for many years, an unrealistic dream, to be sure, but the dream of hosting some kind of program on television. The dream is fueled by working hand-in-hand with a TV station, seeing what’s involved, knowing the personalities, feeling comfortable in their world. But the origin of the dream is Phil Donahue.
That’s showing my age.
I grew up loving Phil Donahue, the way he’d run through the audience and ask the most thought-provoking questions, often after pausing with the microphone under his chin. He came from radio, like me. I was even a caller on his program once. It was 1993. The topic was the anonymity of organ transplantation.
I have a passion for talking with people, like Phil had, like Oprah has. Don’t get me wrong – I love my radio job, but I long to talk for more than the :30 news segment will allow. I have dreamed about what it would be like to sit with people, on camera, and learn about them, thereby learning more about myself and my world. It is the strangest paradox – an altruistic desire with an egocentric by-product.
To the point of this blog – I found out today that a man I admire greatly does not think I have what it takes to be on television. I don’t know his reasons. They may be non-specific. They may be related to my age or appearance, or my sometimes manic energy. I don’t know. But when I learned of his criticism, I thought – it may be time to let this one go.
When do you let a dream go? When is your critic just . . . right? Darnit! You have always wanted to be a novelist, but at some point you accept that you are probably never going to write the novel. Accepting that you are never going to sail around the world or be a millionaire or . . . host a television program . . . is the hardest thing. It is not in my nature to give up a dream – or to give up anything. But at some point, isn’t it just throwing good energy after bad?
When do you give up a dream . . . so that you can find and pursue another one? Help me dear reader.