My boss has started to drop the word retirement in casual conversation and that’s got me worrying and thinking. And while his exact timeline for exiting the workforce has not been revealed to myself and my quirky band of coworkers, we have all begun to talk about what we might want to do in our next professional gig. So soon, I guess I might need to spread the Sunday newspaper across my dining room table and get busy circling those ads in the help wanted section with a bright red pen for the first time in 25 years. Alright, I do know that want-ads are online nowadays, but hey, job hunting has changed a bit in all those years and I might just need a refresher.
But one thing that hasn’t changed is that when I think about new opportunities, it is scary…..and yet exciting. Cause it brings back that age old question, the one we asked each other again and again on the playground when I was a school girl.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Now my fifth grade girlfriends all wanted to be school teachers. But I wanted adventure. So I proudly announced that I would be an archaeologist. I imagined myself in a stylish sand colored safari outfit, in the shadow of the pyramids at Giza, using a brush to whisk away the last bit of earth covering a lost artifact of the Goddess Isis. And naturally, my discovery would launch me into a life of immediate fame and fortune. I’d have a archaeologist husband as handsome as a movie star and two adorable kids in safari outfits too and I’d be the #1 role-model to young girls across the country, showing them that you can have an amazing career and also be wonderful mother and wife. Now if you know me, you are probably picturing me at a dry, dusty archaeology dig and chuckling, or maybe laughing uncontrollably. Me….the girl who hates severe weather, is not fond of bugs, and worries how poor sanitation contributes to the spread of pandemics. Plus, I am not overly fond of hard physical labor, so a day of shoveling dirt does not sound like a dream, even with a young Harrison Ford at my side. So at age 12, I changed my dream job to psychiatrist…..but that changed too when I saw the movie Psycho.
But that’s the beauty of dream jobs…..they can change. And over the years, I’ve had many, many career aspirations, some reasonable….and some downright flighty. But they were always wonderful, at least for awhile.
And now, perhaps, I get to aspire to something wonderful once again. What should it be?
Of course, pesky little things like an employer’s demand for specific qualifications may get in the way of my dream job. And then there’s also the annoying pressure of minor things like mortgages and car insurance payments and college tuition and grocery bills that could really put a damper on my ability to leisurely explore my options and choose freely. But for a few weeks at least, it should be fun to daydream.
So here’s a few pipe dreams, at least just for today…….
art gallery worker, history museum docent, play-therapist, camp counselor, bee keeper, flower arranger, book store owner, chicken farmer, author, professional coaster maker and upcycling crafter, ice cream maker, political lobbyist, yard sale picker, human rights protector, environmentalist, winemaker, wine critic (that one is better!), free trade boutique operator, soap designer, professional fundraiser, or of course, Betsy Ross. I’ve always wanted to be the woman who dresses up like Betsy Ross and teaches kids how to cut a 5 point star at the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia. I may have to lose a few pounds cause Betsy was a bit thinner than me, and it is very possible that that woman may in fact be an unpaid volunteer, but for today, it is still on the list!
So I am officially on the job market. If you know anyone looking for a completely unqualified art gallery curator, please let me know. I will be circulating my resumes shortly.
So what do you want to be when you grow up? Feel free to share.
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