Thursday, November 27, 2008

RAMAK SIADATAN: Dreams, youth and possibilities

1. Children have so many dreams. Small ones, large ones. They dream of being astronauts, of becoming a princess or a queen or even a king. As we grew older, our dreams became the shape our futures would take. So my first question is when you were young what did you envision your future to be? And as a follow up, how does it compare to where you eventually arrived?

As a little kid, the first two professions I decided on were author and music conductor. At the same time. Interestingly, that says a lot about who I am beyond the fact that I’ve been a musician for almost 25 years and I love to write. You see, I love everything. I want to write, I want to play music, I want to play sports, I want to socialize, I want to climb the top of the business mountain, I want to hide in the woods and live of the land....I’m a dreamer. But I’m also practical. So knowing I can’t be all of those things at once, and knowing I could never choose just one and be satisfied, I live in a combination world where some things I do a little bit of all the time, and other things that are more time consuming are in a two-three year rotation. And I think I can safely say that I’m living out many of my life’s dreams, in small doses, and perhaps one day will have a bit more flexibility to enjoy them on a larger scale.

2. I sometimes fantasize about being able to travel back in time, but not in my current mid-forties body. I wonder what it would be like to become who I was in high school or college but with the knowledge and patience I’ve gained in the years since. Second question…if you could go back and become yourself at a certain time in life which time would you choose and why? And if you could only take one bit of knowledge or one trait you’ve gained as you’ve grown older (but not too old!), what would it be? And why again?

Go back and alter the course of my life, eh? That’s a tough call. I’ve thought about this one a lot, and the part of me that appreciates the life shaping, personality altering events that have made me who I am today, squirms at the idea of going back and changing something that might remove some of those events. Make sense? That being said - if I could go back to a time, and relive just that era and return to today without any impact to my present self, it would be college. I only spent three and a half years in college, and for as much as I did while I was there, I still feel like there were a lot of other experiences I didn’t have time for. Places I wanted to go, classes I wanted to take, different social circles I wanted to explore. College is such an amazing time of growth, learning and personal exploration. Would be nice to have a few more years of that.

The one trait I would take back would be now would be assertiveness. That’s not to say I wasn’t assertive before, but there’s definitely a different layer of “comfortable in my own skin” that I have now that I didn’t have before. And I think that is what would have helped me push myself into some new experiences.

3. As a writer, I started off as a reader. I began reading book after book when I was probably around 8 or 9. For me, initially it was mysteries then science fiction. Were you a reader as a youth? If so, what kind of books did you read? Who were some of your favorite authors at the time?

Definitely a reader. Alfred Hitchcock and The Three Investigators...what a fun series. Agatha Christie mysteries...but only the ones with Poirot. E.B. White and Judy Bloom had great books to read for that age. Anastasia Krupnik...what an oddly fun character she was. Ogden there’s a poet a nine year old can rally behind! There were tons more, but those are the ones that stand out the most.

4. Back to the scenario in the first question…I’m wondering if there are any dreams you had which you did not achieve but are still working on, or hoping to achieve? What are they?

Writing. Music. Sports. Family. Friends. (Not necessarily in that order!) These are ongoing dreams that, as I mentioned, run in an endless loop. I keep chasing them down in different ways and discovering new things. So they are all a work in progress. Though I suppose career ambitions will probably start to play in there as I get deeper into my 30’s.

5. There are many books in my life that have meant something to me. Books and stories that have stayed with me over the years. Some make me smile, some make me think, some even make me mad. The final question…please share a book that has meant something to you, and tells why.

I am the same way – if it is a meaningful book, it will stick with me whether I read it once or multiple times. The book I’ll share may be a bit of a departure from what you might expect when someone answers a “pick one book” question. Shel Silverstein is a very creative story teller. Anyone who has grown up with his books knows exactly what I am talking about. But until about seven years ago, I had never heard of “The Missing Piece Meets the Big O”.

Timing has a lot to do with how well a book sticks. And my friend knew exactly when to share this one with me. If you have ever been young (late teens, early 20’s) and in love, and you aren’t sure if you are in the relationship because of the person you are with or because you just want to be in a relationship, read this book. It will speak volumes in just fifty pages of two lines per page. Lift...pull...flop.


Jennifer Rabold said...

Ramak... Loved The Missing Piece Meets the Big O... and you are absolutely right... given to someone at the right time, this book can change someone's life... like mine! I'll have to remember that and have a few spare copies to give away...


Ramak said...

Hey Jennifer...glad someone else can back me up on this one! I've passed it along a couple of times just in the last six months. Sometimes it's just good to know you're not alone in the world. Validation can be very comforting medicine. :)