When I was a kid I wanted a pony. I asked my mom for a pony on every conceivable gift-giving opportunity there was: Three Kings’ Day, Valentine’s Day, last day of school, my birthday, Christmas.
I kept a tidy room, limited my television watching, did my required Spanish reading and made sure my grades were worthy of a beautiful, flaxen-haired pony.
Though all of my efforts went into acquiring my goal, year after year I got zilch.
There’s a picture of me in ponytails holding my Barbie Corvette car meant to replace my pony, frown as big as the Brooklyn Bridge.
Was it because:
a) We lived in a small, one-bedroom apartment.
b) Ponies are expensive and we couldn’t afford one.
c) We had no backyard or balcony.
d) It was illegal to keep a pony in our apartment complex.
e) All of the above
If you guessed e, you would be right.
Although all of my efforts went into getting my pony, the goal just didn’t make sense. The resources weren’t there, the conditions were not available and for the time being, as precocious and adorable as I thought myself to be, I was unable to change my circumstances on my own.
One year, in her endless wisdom, my mother bought me an expensive typewriter. One that we probably could not afford at that moment.
I wrote poems, short stories, (long stories and very long stories), a soap opera with characters based on my friends. My first journal was typed mostly on crinkly paper. So much writing required even more reading. One habit fed the other. My typewriter brought me endless amusement and happiness. It took me on long travels.
My mother found the way to help me reach my ends. She simply changed the means.
Sometimes there is more than one way to reach your destination. You just have to see the potential of getting there in what comes your way.