As a child I had a variety of unrealistic career dreams. Thankfully, I was steered away from many of them. Some I tried and found they weren’t for me.
The first career I thought about was being a lawyer. This appealed to me because I was told you had to be smart and it required a lot of school. I liked school and did fairly well, then I realized being a lawyer required public speaking and arguing… in public. Not for me.
The next career I considered was being an art teacher. My sister in law is an art teacher and she was probably one of the coolest people I knew then. Teaching, however, required being confined in a room of 20-30 students and keeping their interest and keeping them on task. Somehow I veered away from this choice. Thinking about that situation now kicks in my flight response. I have managed a hour here and there in my children’s classrooms while their teachers are at lunches and I am counting the seconds. Being a teacher is not for me.
I also considered being an architect. I would draw floor plans during my free time in class. My sister said the houses would be too expensive because the bathrooms were not next to the kitchen.
My counselors suggested careers in the sciences. I did well in them theoretically. On paper, I could balance formulas and explain theories, etc. The lab was another story. Every experiment we did failed, even the one in the home ec kitchen where we made peanut brittle according to a chemical formula. I don’t remember what we ended up with, but it wasn’t edible.
As I left high school, I was thinking about writing text books. I understood chemistry and I liked to write, maybe I could put together engaging textbooks. I contemplated adding chemistry to my major. Somehow I never did.
Secretly, I always thought it would be cool to be a writer. I loved the simplicity of putting ink on paper. I loved the idea of creating worlds and characters and decorating it all in wonderful colors and fabrics. Everywhere I went, I carried a book to read (just in case there’s some down time, even when I driving somewhere alone, you know what if there’s a traffic jam?) and a notebook. I didn’t write in the notebook very often, but having that ability there was comforting. Wouldn’t creating a novel be awesome?
I have spent some time in a few other occupations. I’ve done bookkeeping, cleaning (not my favorite), teaching (not bad if the class is interested, otherwise…), and being a librarian.
Being a librarian is a lot of fun. You get to spend all your time around books and you get to buy them and have a wonderful place to store them. Win-win!
But being a novelist is pretty cool. Someday I’ll feel like I can really call myself that.
The careers or jobs I’ve enjoyed usually involve solitary work and creativity.