When I was younger and a cub sports reporter in Newfoundland, I’d often wake up in the middle of the night.
It was just a dream.
I was standing in line with my three brothers and my father was introducing us. Introducing us to whom, I have no idea. It never mattered.
He went down the line. This is my son, who graduated with an honors degree in physics. This is my second son, who graduated with an honors degree in physics. This is my youngest son, the forestry engineer.
And this is my daughter.
She writes and takes pictures of hockey games.
It isn’t far from the truth that creatives aren’t as valued in our business worlds. Scientists and medical professionals get paid more, have better job security.
They probably should.
It’s how creatives like me internalize that standard, though, that keeps us insecure about our craft.
A few years later, my dad died of cancer. At his funeral, one of his friends came up to me and said, “You’re the sports writer.”
I am, I replied.
“You know your dad was very proud of you. He would take copies of your newspaper up to Tim Hortons, spread them out over the counter and make us all read your stories.”
I was stunned.
And then maybe a decade ago, I had a heart-to-heart with my brother, the second son, who holds an honors degree in physics. He told me something that sent me to tears.
“You know you were Dad’s favorite, right?”
“I was pretty jealous of the relationship you had with him.”
I says pardon?
“You got to connect with him over hockey. That was one of his favorite things to talk about.”
It was just a dream after all.
And maybe those feelings we all have of lesser value are just in our heads, too.