The Careers I Never Had
Posted on June 16, 2015

Do you remember those careers you dreamed of when you were six or seven, those adult occupations that seemed to you to be the height of happiness? I am sure some cowboy, fireman or pastry maker lives still in many of us who chose otherwise.

I first was going to be a librarian, since they lived among all those unread books. (I had a secret wish at age 6 to be locked all night in the local public library so I could read to my heart’s content.) By middle school I was going to be a nurse like Sue Barton, since I was then reading about her adventures. I renounced that in favor of becoming an airline stewardess so that I could travel. But, by high school, that did not seem practical and I searched on.

I made a rather more serious choice, one that has brought me much happiness and much challenge, but, as I examine some of my mental “pursuits” I realize that a bit of the dreamer still lurks in me. I bet it does in you too.

For example, I read the Real Estate section of newspapers with avidity; I buy and remodel houses mentally; and I love following architects’ floor plans. Some of that was useful when I was part of a team that built a high school years ago and I discovered those architects had omitted the classroom doors! It was for flow, they said, but the educators on the team nixed that suggestion.

I also am a frustrated archeologist, longing to be the one who finds the key to the Etruscans, those mysterious people of the Italian coast who buried with such elaborate imitations of homes above ground, who had a language no one has yet deciphered, and who topped one of their sarcophagi with a smiling husband and wife . No gloom of death there!

I have no desire to reverse course and actually become one of the above, but those little itches do need to be scratched from time to time. You must have them too. I find them to be wonderful reminders of “those roads not taken” of Robert Frost. We make choices and they point us both towards something and away from other somethings. Every “yes” is also a “no”.

I marvel anew at our ability to navigate life’s shoals, with some help from God.


Mary Ellen Roche on June 19, 2015

Oh, does this resonate, even with one who has been fortunate enough to live so many dreams!

Post Your Comment