I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it on the blog before, but the dream my entire life has been to be a radio disc jockey. I don’t even know when the dream first started, but I think it was from the very first moment I saw Dr. Johnny Fever say “booger” on WKRP in Cincinnati that this dream was implanted in my head.
I began to fulfill this dream the moment I sent in my list of 11 cassettes for a penny to the Columbia Record & Tape club back in 1983 (my first cassette was “Lick It Up” by KISS). I began “programming” my own music from the comfort of my own music collection, and from there things grew.
I DJ’d dances during my final year in high school. Once I turned 19, I began DJ’ing at a bar in Sackville, New Brunswick called Mermaids. While being there, I started my initial on-air experience at CHMA, which was my university radio station. In a very short period of time, I actually became program director. In fact, I was so dedicated to the job that I ended up flunking out of school that year (yes, I eventually went back and graduated).
I then moved on to a club in my hometown of Amherst, Nova Scotia (located inside of a hotel) called Legends. I DJ’d there for three years and had some of the most incredible times of my entire life. Every Saturday night I had throngs of people in the palm of my hand, dancing to music that I was choosing for them. It was a natural high that I could never replicate with any kind of drug.
Fast forward to almost a decade later. I’ve turned down opportunities to play music for a high school graduation and a friend’s wedding because I thought I had “grown up”…I had moved on to “real jobs”.
The problem was that I never stopped wishing that I had pursued that dream. And by this time, I now had a couple of beautiful children and “adult responsibilities”, so applying for a student loan in order to fulfill some wild and crazy dream of being a radio disc jockey just seemed incredibly foolhardy and unrealistic.
A few weeks ago, I caught up with a friend from a former job. We’ve since gotten together with our female partners and have had some great times and discussions, one of them being that he recently started a new career in radio…at age 45.
Turns out that two years ago, he took a two year college degree in telecommunications and became Dr. Johnny Fever…a dream he had wanted since he was a kid. So here was my friend, at age 45, starting a new career as a morning disc jockey on a local classic rock radio station.
He is living my dream.
I had a conversation with Sunshine yesterday about it all. She has known about my dream for quite some time. She also said that if there was any way…ANY way…that we could afford to support four children while I went to college that she would find a way to do it. It was awesome because she meant it, and nobody has ever supported me in my aspirations and dreams like she has.
But it was also a bit bittersweet, knowing that right now I just don’t have the ability to live the dream that seems incredibly possible. I never thought that I could start over in that particular profession while in my 40′s, but my friend has proven me wrong. Now that my life-long dream seems so attainable, the responsibilities that I have as a father and a soon-to-be husband prevent me from pursuing that dream.
Rock…meet hard place.
I never really thought about it too much because I thought it wasn’t possible. Now I know it is…but because it’s out of my grasp it’s a little more difficult to process.