Introspection and reflection are natural byproducts of age. Along with several of my friends, both male and female, I’m in the process of taking stock of my life and giving serious thought to what I want the second half to look like.
At the same time, mid-life is when you begin to realize that some dreams just gotta go. It ain’t gonna happen. And not because you’re too old per se, but because you know yourself and what you are and are not willing to sacrifice to meet a goal.
So here then, are the top five things I’m never gonna be.
Lawyer—I always thought it would be cool to be a corporate lawyer—either the kind that keeps organizations out of trouble (not by covering up shit after the fact but by providing sound and reasoned advice before the fact)—or the kind of lawyer that really makes companies pay after they’ve failed to listen to the sound advice given by the first kind. Listen to reason or pay, that’d be my motto. I like to debate, and I have a logical and analytical mind that lends itself well to the reasoned application of facts. I also love research and writing, and while I can be a bit rebellious, I do respect rules. I’ve also been told I have a way of asking questions that sounds more like an interrogation than a friendly inquiry, but that’s not my fault. Don’t sit in my face and lie or talk nonsense and we won’t have any problems, okay?
Singer—I like to sing and have since I was a little girl. Indeed, one of the high schools I applied to was the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, or CAPA, as it’s known here in Philly. During my audition I sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” a fact I now find vaguely embarrassing for some reason.
But alas, I wasn’t selected. Oh well. I entered the Philadelphia High School for Girls, and other than having to occasionally endure that particular brand of hell that is only created when a group of teenage girls gather ‘round, it wasn’t so bad. I received an excellent preparation for college, and for that I’m grateful.
Actress—It seems to me that it would be fun to do commercials. As a young girl, I’d make up commercials for fruit juice, or whatever, and rehearse my lines in my “actor” voice in front of the bathroom mirror.
“When my kids come home from school, they’re always thirsty. And that’s why I keep plenty of _____ in the fridge! _____ tastes great, and my kids love it. And because it’s loaded with XXX vitamins and minerals, I love it too! (Drink from glass and smack lips). Delicious!”
Damn, I was good.
Teacher—I entered college intending to be a teacher but changed my mind halfway through, and I still regret that decision a little bit. I’m a natural teacher. Christian once told me, “Your problem is you’re always trying to teach someone a lesson, Mom,” which clearly he didn’t intend as a compliment, but I don’t care because it’s true. However, at this point in my life I can’t see going back to school and getting into serious debt to earn significantly less, and education is in a bad way right now. But once in a while I still wonder if I couldn’t make this thing work somehow.
Rich man’s wife—Didn’t happen and ain’t gonna happen.
What about you? What did you hope to be when you grew up?