I decided a number of years ago that regrets hold you back. You keep living in the I wish I had world instead of taking the future by storm.

I do have two regrets though. The first is that I did not take the opportunity to become a helicopter pilot.

We landed in Montreal in 1968. My parents had been here for a year laying the groundwork for us to emigrate to this country. We had not seen either of them for about two years. We were looked after in England by old friends of the family, Abbas and Shomeis Afnan.  I have had discussions with Fetneh about this time period. We were all in a bit of a daze. In between and betwixt as it were. Living in a strange land waiting for the future to unfold. Go to Canada. I had no idea where that was or what I could expect. My aunt who lived in Iran thought we were moving to the end of the world.

I finished High School here and was floundering around wondering what to do with my future. We had no counselling to speak of. I had no idea counselling was available for this sort of stuff through the school, and would probably not have taken advantage of it anyways. Someone suggested I get a helicopter pilots license. Sounded very sexy. I did not know anyone who was doing that. We were all encouraged to become doctors, lawyers, or accountants.  I looked into it very briefly. What stopped me cold at the ripe age of 17 or 18 was the $10,000 required to get the the license. That seemed like a small fortune to me.

Our attitude toward money is very different than the one prevalent in North America. Money is a means to an end here. I saw that amount of money as equivalent to the Queen’s fortune. I was also tole that amount was not as bad as I thought it was. I could repay it within a year by becoming a bush pilot. The serious issue with this proposition was that I had no diea what a bush pilot was and what it entailed.

The regret is not so much that I did not get the license, but I lacked the gumption to go after it. I lacked the aggression, foresight and will to do something that extravagant and let myself be defeated. The action of going after it would have, I think led to a major changes in my attitude toward life as a whole. The getting of the lecinse itself is secondary.

The second regret. My parents were very big on me becoming a doctor or an accountant. I got of science in university really quickly. So an accountant it was to be. The only class I have ever fallen asleep in was accounting. I kept floundering. This was not very pleasant. I was defeated and lacked the tools to see my way out of things.

I failed at the time to recognize my artistic side. This was hardly surprising. I was graded last in my art class in England. I just did not understand what was expected and what I could accomplish. Fetneh is very artistic. She had great talent. But the skill was frowned upon by the parental units. She was sent to secretarial school. She is now an esthetician. I am guessing her artistic side is getting a bit of work by her making people look beautiful. I wish I could convince her to start again. It would help her relax and certainly express herself more fully.

Malcolm Gladwell, in one of his books, says that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at something to the point of making it look easy. I have that under my belt where computers are concerned. I am running out of time to accomplish that in creating art. I may have those hours where photography is concerned. But not in creating any other sort of art.

I have struggled with the concept of art. What is art? Would I recognize a great artist if I saw one? What is great art? I finally decided that I would just buy the stuff I like whatever it happens to look like. I would not be concerned about the critics and pundits. Just follow my own instincts.

I never dared broach the subject of becoming an artist with my parents or anyone else for that matter. It was such a foreign concept to me. Yet, I hung out with the fine art students at Concordia struggling valiently to understand what it was they trying to express through their works.

I started taking picture many years ago. It was a fitful start. Could not make black and white pictures work. They were dull lacking emotion, passion or anything that would have made them appealing. Never considered taking a course or anything.  That was also a foreign concept. Not practical. I was to become an accountant. Accountants do not take pictures.  They are supposed to be dull and boring people.

You may recall that I took the art therapy class after my operation. All my friends were terribly excited. I was revealing a side of me that had been hidden. You can take pictures and paint? What a combination. Daryl bought me a water coloring kit encouraging me to continue with the hobby. We cleared a table in the kitchen and made it the art table. Bought all sorts of supplies.

40 years of suppression took its toll. Not one piece of work came out of it. I find myself sometimes, specially of late with an idea attempting to burst out of me flamboyantly displaying itself on a piece of paper. It flounders and dies. The years of suppression have taken its toll. I am almost scared to even attempt to put brush to paper. I curse Malcolm Gladwell. I wish I did not know about the 10,000 hours. It is red herring. He is hardly to blame.

I wonder how much similar damage we inflict on our children. It is all inadvertent. We do not mean to do this. We are protecting our children from the inevitable downfall when they fail to make it as an artist. Surely that is a good thing. Here we are giving them a failing grade before they have even attempted anything. We site statistics on the low number of successful compared to the number who enter the field. We fail to see that the numbers are the same regardless of which field you enter. How many truly successful lawyers do you know? There are so many. Most live very well doing the mundane stuff that is required of a lawyer. Close the house deal.  Set up a business agreement. all done daily for the thousandth time. Sounds great. This is not a criticism of any profession. Just to point out that the number of truly successful practitioners of any profession pales in comparison to the numbers who enter the field.

We do our best as parents to shield our children from life’s little foibles. Damned if we do and damed if we don’t.

© 2010 I Have Cancer Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha