I find myself at a crossroads. Ten years of owning, operating, eating and breathing a retail shop is about the longest time anyone can go and still generally like people. So the Mom and Pop of our Mom and Pop store called it a decade, literally closed up shop, and we are now officially on sabbatical. The future looks bright, but I have no idea from whence cometh the light.
When I was little, I wanted to be a writer. I reveled in living in a two newspaper city, a fresh dose of news and writing morning and evening. I read every book I could touch, rather indiscriminately going through thrilling Nancy Drew series, general fiction, historical fiction, true stories, mysteries, books too mature for my understanding (Dianetics, why was that in our house?) books too young for me, humor, pulp, didn’t care. While friends crushed on Bobby Sherman and Davy Jones, I had a super fangirl crush on Louisa May Alcott. Sure, many of you have read Little Women, but what about Little Men, Eight Cousins, Rose in Bloom, oh, I could go on. Bring it! In fact, Little Women, along with my favorite Jane Austins and a stray Russian novel or two, are permanently on my “re-read once a year” kindle list.
I did turn away from my first love a few times. During my equine obsession stage in middle school, I thought I wanted to own a horse stable and teach riding. Too much real life stall mucking soon took care of that for me. There was the veterinarian phase, quickly squashed by a dose of high school chemistry. As I do enjoy a good intellectual tussle, an apparition of law school briefly flittered through college, but I soon realized it was just a stab at avoiding real life for a few more years. Thank you, God.
With the exception of the most important choices in life, whom to marry and my children, I feel that so far I have just drifted along, rather randomly landing here and there on shore as the current pushes me. I have had some horrible jobs, some fun jobs, scary/crazy bosses, a nice boss. I’ve been a corporate employee, my own boss, someone else’s boss and a stay-at-home mom. I have been promoted, fired and, my personal favorite, quit.
So here is what I know for my future:
I can’t retire yet as 1) I am way too hyperactive and easily bored and 2) I don’t have enough $$$.
I don’t want to work back in corporate, I am so in my fifties, and I know how to use it.
I don’t want to be a boss.
I don’t want to dress up every day, and my shoes will remain forever sensible, seriously sensible, like a little old lady English tourist sensible.
I do want substantial vacation days and reasonable weekly hours as I will always work to live, and not the reverse. When cancer visits a family, priorities quickly realign correctly.
I realize these are lofty and stringent parameters. Here are the career possibilities I have come up with so far…
Nail Polish namer. Who get’s this job, and where do I apply? Cabana Sunset, Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow, Parisian Streetlight…
Cereal box, shampoo or toothpaste tube writer. You know, the marketing gurus that tell us two bowls of cereal a day will make us skinny, or you should definitely wash your hair twice, or the genius I bow down to, the person who decided we should open a box of baking soda, then dump it down the drain!
Food, movie, tv and travel critic, getting paid to write about what I do anyway.
Linguist. How cool to do studies that can pinpoint where someone grew up by the name they have for those little bugs that roll up in a ball when challenged. P.S., everyone knows the correct answer is roly poly!
Columnist. Getting paid for observations and ramblings, yes, please.
Advice columnist. Generally, my answer would be “Just wait until you have REAL problems” to almost every inquiry.
The people who sing the “ah ah ahhh, oo oo oo’s” in the background of movies and shows like Game of Thrones. What do you fill in on the “occupation” line?
So it seems all my career choices are related to writing and language, except the singing one. (My singing voice is a genetic freak of nature, a weird talent unrelated to anything else. I think of it as a party trick, like being double jointed or tying a knot in the cherry stem with your tongue.)
Perhaps it is time to persue what seems like my strength, interest and destiny? Hmmmm. I think I will pull a Scarlett O’Hara for now, and think about that tomorrow…