I used to be a very ambitious person.

I used to dream of world peace.

I used to think I would have a great job,

Like a world leader, and then, maybe


A college professor in Humanities.

I used to be the kind of person

That might have believed in the saying,

“So little done.  So much to do.”


Well, I never was good in groups,

So I wouldn’t do well in the United Nations.

I can’t read very fast, so

Graduate school was not for me.


Even after my mental illness hit me,

My ego fought long and hard for something

BIG, something to wrap my dreams around.

Finally I settled.


I got a real job, working to pay the bills.

That’s when everyday life hit me square in the face.

That’s when I learned that there are two kinds of people:

Those who make decisions, and those who carry them out.


And I found myself to be the latter.

No glory in being a producer,

No recognition in making a buck.

At least for most of us.


I guess that’s part of growing up.

You realize you’re not as strong

As you thought you were.

You realize that there is always


Someone else who knows more than you.

And, the hardest, you come to see

That there is never enough money.

And dreamers don’t get paid for dreaming.



(Carry on Tuesday #107, prompt:

The last words spoken by Cecil Rhodes

before his death in 1902)

Author: Gordon S. Bowman III

Writer, Visual Artist, Blogger, Advocate

9 thoughts on “Ambition”

  1. I’ve never done the Carry on Tuesdays…went to check it out. We’ll see if I write a response. BTW, don’t forget to put a link there back to this poem! 🙂

    1. Good luck. And thanks for the reminder. I remembered when I woke up this morning. Writing all those prompts and reading that of others can take a while. I think I crammed too much in a few days, but it was fun! 🙂

    1. It’s hard because I tend to be very unrealistic in my dreams. Like I told someone else, it is more like “fooling myself” than dreams. I still have dreams, but they are tempered by realism.

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