I was talking to a friend earlier on the phone today when the subject of jobs came up. She sounded wistful and commented that I was lucky to have a job that I enjoyed. She said she envied how I actually worked in a field that I studied in college. I was surprised at her comments. I told her, one, sometimes my job sucks; two, I didn't know what I wanted to study in college. I just sort of fell into my field after changing majors a few times. Three, I'm not even sure I'll be doing this for the rest of my life. Sure, I enjoy it now, but that doesn't mean I won't do something different in the future. I like being mobile, and as soon as a job gets to be troublesome and unfulfilling, I leave and do something else.
But I got to thinking about all the jobs I had in life and how I never really planned to do any of them. I mean, I had no long term planning when it came to those jobs. They're nothing like what I dreamed about when I was growing up. When I was a small child, I had three dream jobs.
First off all, I wanted to be a fireman. I mean, doesn't every kid want to be a fireman? I luved watching the firetrucks and the cool uniforms and helmets. I was lucky that my kindergarten class took a field trip to the firehouse just down the block! It was awesome getting to see the firehouse and getting on that firetruck! Even better, I knew one of the firemen! He was my neighbor, and he was so cool, which is really why I wanted to be a fireman in the first place. Now, when I say cool, I mean on his weekends off, the fireman would drink on his porch, but he was a nice, mellow drunk. Sometimes, he'd have his firemen buddies over for a cookout, where they'd drink and laugh. On those days, he would often send me or my brothers to the store to pick up some items for him. Then he'd give us change! Sometimes a whole dollar! That was a lot of money to a small child back then. We hated picking up the leaves around my house, but we didn't hesitate to pick up the leaves around my neighbors yard, because he paid us in small change.
I remember my mother asking me if I wanted to become a pastor. After all we were from a long line of missionaries and priests. But I told her, nope, I wanted to be a fireman. She asked, "So you want to save people from fires?"
I said, "I just want to get drunk and have a good time!" Hey, my neighbor looked like he was having fun, and I like having fun!
The second dream job was to be an astronaut. I wanted to fly out into outer space on a rocket ship and explore the heavens. I thought it'd be so cool to float in other space and walk on the moon. I still think it's cool! Also, I wanted to fire laser beams at the enemy and destroy their bases with my spaceship. Hey, I was kid, and I was still learning about what was real and fake, and there were a lot of spaceship movies back then.
My third dream job was to be a ninja! That's right! I wanted to be a ninja, using extraordinary fighting skills to beat the enemies. I wanted to use exotic weapons, like throwing stars and a sword and those metal balls that explode into smoke so you could disappear. I thought it'd be cool to sneak around at night and vanish in the darkness. We used to make our own ninja masks with our t shirts. Just pull the shirt over your head and adjust the head hole around your eyes; take the sleeves and tie them behind your head. Instant ninja mask! I'm not exactly sure how I planned on becoming a ninja. I just knew that I wanted to kick ass while wearing an awesome disguise, running up walls and through the treetops.
As I got older, of course, the dream jobs changed. In middle school, I wanted to join the circus. Yes, the big top circus. I imagined it to be an adventurous life, moving from place to place, seeing the world. I thought it'd be fun to entertain people. I wanted to be an acrobat and do some tumbling acts or walk the tight rope. I also wanted to do some trapeze acts swinging high and doing flips in the air. I was pretty good at the swinging on the jungle gym and climbing trees. But I refused to work with the big animals. I'm not taming any lions! I refuse to end up as a meal for them. And I sure as hell wasn't going to be cleaning up after elephant poop! That job belonged to the dung beetles.
I also wanted to be a spy! A secret agent! I enjoyed the James Bond films. Some Bonds I liked more than others; Roger Moore was the funniest. I wanted to work with cool gadgets and get it on with beautiful chicks with the sex pun names. I fantasized about driving an underwater car or using a special spy watch to escape from death traps set up by an evil, eccentric enemy that I was sent to destroy.
I still enjoy the spy genre. One of my fave series to watch is Burn Notice. It's about a top secret gov't agent who gets dropped from the agency, "burned", and he's trying to figure out who was responsible. Along with his allies, he has wild adventures in Miami while tracking down the people who got him fired and ostracized by his agency. It's a fun, exciting, and surprising show and two Cylons from Battlestar Galactica have made guest appearances!
There is one other dream job I fantasized about during my middle school years. I wanted to be a background dancer for Janet Jackson. Really, I just wanted to have her grab my head, work her loins in my face, and sing to me:
"If I was your girl
All the things I'd do to you.
I'd make you call out my name
I'd ask who it belongs to"
And I'd answer, "It belongs to Ms Jackson," because I'd want it nasty!
Then in high school, I was older, so my dream jobs changed. I guess you could say they were a little more realistic than fantasy. My first dream job I wanted in high school was to work in politics. That's right. I wanted to work in gov't, particularly as a staffer for an elected official. I like the idea of creating public policy that helped people. I was interested in what was going on in the gov't and how it affected our lives. I thought about getting a job as an administrative intern or a page for the legislature. Of course, this was way before I became aware of the sexual predators that worked in gov't, preying on underage interns. But perverts aside, I still like knowing about politics and what's going on in gov't.
The second dream job I wanted was to be a journalist, specifically, a war correspondent/photo journalist. I admired those hardy reporters who braved the frontlines to bring back unfiltered, raw news. No propaganda, just facts. I was drawn to those gritty, hard edge photos of war's devastation and its dramatic impact on people's lives. Sometimes, the photo tells the story best.
The last dream job I wanted to work was in public relations and advertising. I wanted to make commercials! I luved art and I figured I could use my passion and talents to sell products (or persuade people). Perhaps some day, I could create a masterpiece, like "I can't believe it's not butter" or "Help! I've fallen and can't get up!" or "Whazzup?". It seemed like a lot of fun making ads and coming up with ideas.
There you have it; all the dream jobs I wanted when I was growing up. And I've not worked in any of them! It's not like I had any real definite plans on what I wanted to do when I grew up. But that's okay, because I've learned life has a way of taking the best laid plans and throwing them out the window. I find myself working in a field that I never thought of working in when I was younger. But that's true with most of the jobs I've had. I can say though, that whatever job I've done, I've done them willingly and some I really enjoyed. You always learn something new, and I learned quite a bit from those experiences. Like I said earlier, I'm not sure how long I'll be working my current field, but I know that I'm enjoying it for now. And I know that as soon as it makes me unhappy and unsatisfied, then I'll move on to something else. I may not have worked any of my dream jobs, but that's okay. Just imagining dream jobs is enough; more importantly, they represent hope, and wonderful possibilities, and enormous potential for doing great things.