My father wanted to be a doctor, but couldn’t get into medical school in the United States in the early forties, when there was a quota for Jews. So he applied–and was accepted to–med school in Europe. When the war broke out in Europe, and he couldn’t go there either, dad decided the next best thing was to go to dental school in New York, where the Jewish quota was more relaxed.
Dad did not like dentistry, which didn’t help his mental well being. He wanted me to become a doctor at one point (he could have lived vicariously), but I wasn’t very good in science, so the odds of me going to medical school were slim to none.
How many people have unfulfilled dreams? Scores of aspiring actors who wait tables in New York City and never get a break? Middle-level executives who strive to enter the ranks of top-level management and don’t get promoted? Millions who buy lottery tickets in hopes of new lives, but lose week after week? A climber who never makes it to the apex of Mount Everest?
I feel bad for everyone who works hard and has passion and talent, but doesn’t reach their goals and attain their dreams. My former husband is one of these people, an extraordinarily talented artist who has not achieved the recognition he dreams of and deserves. I wish I could wave a magic wand and give him his due, especially when I see how many less talented people achieve success.