Stuff From The Past – Astronaut School

Besides talking about the present and thinking about what to do in the future, I thought of reminiscing about the past. Something I like to do with friends.

Whenever I allow myself to share some stories about my past (mostly just the funny ones) my friends, or whoever’s listening, almost always says I should put this stuff in a book. I don’t know why they think this, maybe because it’s something that they’ve never heard before, but I’m sure crazy and funny stuff happens to a lot of people all the time. The goal is to be published but I’m not that confident with my own story. But who knows, maybe in alternate reality that could happen. But for now, I’ll settle into blogging some of them.

The following is the story of how once, I wanted to be an astronaut and when I stopped wanting to be an astronaut.


 

I can’t really remember what I originally wanted to be growing up. Sometimes, these type of things are prescribed for you. Like how your mom would buy you a play doctor set and tell you years later, “Well, you’ve always wanted to be a doctor”. Yeah right mom.

The first one that I actually remember. The ambition that I actually came up by myself for myself is to be an astronaut. I don’t know, maybe we we’re studying the Solar System that time (do you study the planets in 1st grade?), or I saw a show on T.V. But anyhow, I was compelled to learn everything there is to know about space travel.

As a kid, I knew the difference between a cosmonaut and an astronaut. I knew who Yuri Gagarin was. I even named one of my cats Laika – even though Laika was a dog (DON’T look him up unless you want your heart to be broken). I was space crazy and I was determined to be an astronaut.

Laika - The first dog in space.

Laika – The first dog in space.

The first person I told about this ambition was my older brother. We have a 5 year gap so obviously he thinks he’s ‘cooler’ and he knows more stuff than I do. This is true and as much as I hate to admit it, it’s still the truth.

We we’re on our way home from school. We we’re seated next to each other in the bus, me celebrating the fact that I was first in the window seat. I turned my gloating up a notch by sticking my head out the window, looking at the skies. My brother tells me I should put my head back inside unless I want to be decapitated. I refused to be bullied. He threatens to tell our Aunt how much of a brat I am that I will never get to sit at a window seat ever again. I relent, he can really do that. I once watched him convince my Aunt that I am allergic to Snickers, not chocolate, just Snickers, just so that he can eat the rest of my Snickers bar.

To take his mind out of telling on me, I distracted him by saying that I’ve decided that I would become an astronaut. He told me that it was impossible. I told him how high my grades are, that I’m good in science and that I can jump the highest in our class (this was relevant because when I watched the moon landing I thought they we’re jumping on purpose and it has nothing to do with gravity or lack thereof.

My dream crashed and burned when my brother said:

There is only one astronaut school in the world and that’s NASA. NASA is in the USA. You’re chances in getting in to NASA is as slim as you going to America. 

It was the early 90’s. We didn’t know anyone who’s in America. We know airplanes exist but we somehow imagined America to be in an entirely different dimension.

Imagine you transferring you’re goldfish, that you won from the fair, into a glass bowl. And then the damn bowl just slipped through your fingers and it shattered on the floor. And then you we’re so panicked to which to attend to first: the water, the shards of glass, the fish. And then you were so panicked that you have an anxiety attack and you just watched your goldfish die. That’s what it felt like, realizing that you’re dream is not going to come true because of some geographical technicality.

Of course I know different now. That not all astronauts are necessarily from America. But it’s still hard to go to America. That remains to be a fact.

 

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