Thursday, August 11, 2011

How I pictured it: What I was going to do (Spoiler unemployment was not considered)

I am amazed and thankful for the outpouring of comments on my last "How I pictured it" post.  I had the post in my draft folder for months and almost deleted it because I thought no one would care, and then I remembered I write this blog for me and hit publish because I like to live on the edge.  And who woulda thunk it, but ya'll had childhood dreams too - CRAZY.

Anyway, so again, this is a post about the dreams I had as a kid and what my life has now turned out like as well, still a kid I guess.  I know some kids have many dreams "I am going to be a pilot" "An Astronaut" "a professional princess", but I only had one dream as a kid, well in fact right up until my first year of college.  I had pretty strong convictions about what being a grown up was going to look like and how I would turn what I love into making money. (Tune in next week for who I thought I would be spending my life with).

I've always loved animals.  I mean love to the point where I've never seen Bambi because (spoiler) a baby animal loses its parent.  Lassie is probably the most heart wrenching thing ever, and don't even THINK you can get me to watch an episode. Who cares about Timmy? It's his own damn fault for falling in the well.  And don't get me started on Homeward Bound. That movie has SCARRED ME.

Ahem, particularly, and I may have mentioned this, I love puppies. I have a special connection with dogs - I draw them to me and we cuddle. It's just what I do.  In fact just the another night I came back to our apartment from yoga and announced to Inspector Climate "I got puppy kisses today!"  I just was walking down the street and a dog just had to stop and lick my hand.
I remember being 6 or 7 and people asking what I was going to be when I grew up and the answer was always a vet. Always.  Through high school I always wanted to be vet. I even did an equine massage class and a 3 month internship with a vet.  I decided that I didn't really want to be a normal vet, I wanted to do acupuncture, massage, and chiropractics on horses, dogs and cats.  I pictured living on a farm (ie the one in New England with the view that I'd kick my parents out of) and having animals and living my life like James Harriot saving animals and forming connections with them. Loving them.

It became pretty obvious to me when I started college that the courses I selected would determine what I could do in regards to graduate school.  It also became clear that I wasn't up for years and years of schooling for a job that wasn't perfect for me anyway.  Vet programs are seriously competitive, more so than med school, and in the end, I wouldn't be doing what I wanted.  And while there are courses that offer animal acupuncture and chiropractics few people take you seriously if you aren't a vet first.  And maybe these sound like excuses to you, they sound like excuses to me now too.  But one December day in my first semester, after looking up vet schools in Canada and the US to find out the requirements to their programs and picturing being 30 before I was doing what I wanted - I decided that maybe it wasn't for me after all.

It sounds callous now, but the pain of working nights at some vet clinic when I am so obviously a morning person, and the stress of competing for spots in programs that didn't 100 per cent fit my dreams, I couldn't do it. So I let it go.

So what I am doing now? Now I am fighting to get a job in protecting the environment so animals will have a place to live.  If direct hands on animal action wasn't for me, then I was going to go to the biggest problem that we all face: Climate Change.

And what I pictured, with the idyllic James Harriot farm land, I still envision for myself.  And if I move back to the states, it will still be on my parents farm.  And if I stay in Australia, Tassie watch out - there's an American coming. The puppies, the kitties, a cow, horses and some chickens, all living together interconnected and interdependent and sustaining me (mostly with kisses). Breathing their animal joy into me so I can go fight other battles - like getting you to stop buying water bottles (no really, stop).

I guess the real difference is I am perfectly happy to pay someone else to neuter my dog, but I'll still give my horses shots thank you very much.

Are you doing what you thought you'd be doing as a kid?


  1. When I was a kid I wanted to be a "famous singer". Considering I only sing in my shower it's obvious I wasn't really meant for that lol.

  2. Great post. I wanted to be a vet, little did I know is there was science and math involved, I bailed when I figured that out! xo

  3. Its great you are doing something 'animal related'.

    I always wanted to work in a library. Only, I'm far from being a major search engine. And I don't get to read books all the time.

    Instead, I get to listen people complain why they can't pay their fines. And I do get to do a few fun things in a few databases. But still, I'm not sure it would be worth more education. Since those who have those jobs don't want to retire, and when they do, those jobs are getting phased out.

    Still though, I do like helping people and well, I do find things for them.

  4. i wanted to be a vet as well. I am also obsessed with aniimals and can't wait movies where anything bad happens to one. if there's a battle scene with horses, i immediately worry about what will happen to them.

    turns out i'm terrible at science though so being a vet was not meant to be!

  5. For *years* I wanted to be a marine biologist, but then in high school I realized that I am terrible at math and science. I, like you, wanted to work with the animals, but I have learned that just because you don't end up doing what you thought you would, doesn't mean you are "sacrificing" anything. I don't think I would have been happy as a marine biologist as an adult and I love my job now. I hope that you find a job you adore one day! ;)

  6. Nope, I wanted to be a vet as well, until I realized I wouldn't be able to euthanize an animal, even if it was in it's best interest. I am now a manager, and I love it, but even 5 years ago I wouldn't have thought I'd be in this job. Life takes interesting twists and turns.

  7. Great and very interesting post.

    When I was a kid I wanted to be an actress. My mum tells me that one day my kindergarten teacher came up to her to talk. Apparently all the other girls wanted to be princesses and nurses and teachers and I had proudly announced my theatrical aspirations. No idea where that came from.

    And now I'm an English and music teacher who's going back to school to study musical theatre so I guess I'll have best of both worlds.

  8. thanks for your comment in my paraphernalia : )
    and to answer the question on your interesting post, well. i am happy. i don`t do what i dreamed as a kid ( gosh! it was so many things!) but i dreamed a lot about being happy. and i did. i am. everything alse is just detales : )

  9. Not doing what I thought I would...

    I wanted to be (brace yourself):

    - a neurosurgeon
    - a stewardess
    - a storm chaser (I was obsessed with tornadoes at one point as an eleven year old and knew EVERYTHING about tornadoes in the States)
    - a UFO specialist (...hee!)
    - pop superstar (I blame awesome old school Britney for this)

    - ...a writer.

    This last one I still plan on making happen in some professional capacity. I mean, I AM a writer by nature, but I just need to push into that next "realm", if you will.

    Last year, I was one of the top 5 finalists in Australia shortlisted in the National Youthweek Competition wit my short story "Cobwebbed", which thrilled me to no end...and hella surprised me.

    I mean, I got industry recognition for something I've always been passionate about and been good at...well, "good at"...we're our own worst critics and as confident as we can be about our abilities, we tend to diminish them at times, as well.

    So, I'd love to build on the momentum of last year's achievement...I'm working on it, fo' shizzle!

  10. I don't think I was settled on just one thing. I liked architect for a while, astronomer. Doctor I considered but I just couldn't get over the sight of blood. I loved the idea of people contact but not life or death decisions. I still have doctor-envy and truly respect those who survived med school. I think you made the right decision to veer off. You probably would have been rather sick of school after all that and not quite in the field you wanted.

  11. I always wanted to perform. I studided acting at college and then on at university and had a good old stab at it in London.
    But then I realised I also wanted a life. A husband, some kids, a dog and my own home. I couldn't have any of those things as a jobbing actor. I began working with troubled children & young people and haven't looked back. Instant job gratification.
    I'm glad I ended up where I am. I'm happy!

  12. When I was younger I wanted to be the Prime Minister. I'm now a teacher so nothing near! That bit about Timmy falling in the well made me laugh :) xx

  13. Haha, I can't watch animal movies either, they're always the saddest. And hahaha, glad I've seen Bambi though, cause with that spoiler, there wouldn't have ever been a point in seeing it heeehee. What you're doing now though sounds like such a good combination of everything. Thanks so much for dropping by my blog and leaving your comment! :o)

  14. I wanted to be a vet as a kid too [then later on a doctor]! One of my favorite Christmas gifts was a play veterinarian kit. Then later down the road, I realized I'd be a horrible vet because I'd cry every time a hurt or sick animal came in. Sometimes I get way more emotional over animals dying than people. I swear I'm not a bad person! Ironically enough, I ended up going to a university with one of the best vet schools in the nation. But yeah, vet programs are INTENSE. I think I'll just stick to being animal obsessed and cuddling with my cats.

    P.S. Homeward Bound KILLED me as a kid. I cried so hard at the end when Shadow limps up the hill. Maybe I still do cry when I see it...

  15. I also had dreams of being a vet. But then I wanted to be a writer. And I am a writer...but let's be clear, I THOUGHT I would be working for you know...The New York Times or Vanity Fair. So yeeeeah. It's all good though, have my dear old blog! :)

  16. I don't even remember what I wanted to do as a kid. I'll have to ask my mom.

    I'm trying hard to get my Husband to stop buying water bottles. We fight about it all the time.

  17. Well, I'm definitely not a ballerina but I'm still struggling with what I want/should do. I love your passion for animals. I'm a big supporter of animal rights and I've volunteered with local shelters too, there is something so amazing about animals. I hope all of your dreams come true!

  18. Hey !
    It's so great that you love animals and want to protect them.
    I have a especial connection with dogs too, I'm like the dog whisperer :)
    Good luck finding that job

  19. i don't buy water bottles. just so you know. :) i think on some level i'm doing what i thought. i had always loved psychology, studying the inner workings of man, and longing to provide a safe, nonjudgmental place for everyone. i also had a lot of other ideas about teaching, designing, creating, owning my own shop, acting, singing, etc. etc. i think the problem is that i still want to do all those things and i'm not sure how to give myself the time/money to manage a multitude of fulfilling activities. do i devote one hour a day to each? one day a week? should i divide them up and spend a few years at a time in different fields? i don't really know.

  20. Yes, I'm doing what I thought I'd be doing when I was a kid; I've got a job that has nothing to do with math.

  21. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be a teacher or live abroad. I really wanted to be a journalist, but even then I figured that I would live in my hometown. How different the reality is from that dream from long ago!

  22. Well you know this already, but I totally wanted to be an IRS Agent...... it's hard to hide the nerd in me!

  23. Very interesting read. As an Australian I've never been to Tasmania but I do know there's definitely lots of animals there haha.

    When I was a kid I wanted to be a doctor, but when it got closer to actually being a possibility I realised I was not prepared to put so many years in, and that I was interested in learning the material but not actually doing anything with it. In a way I'm sort of doing something similar - psych PhD (in which I'll get to be called dr but hardly the same haha) but I'm happy.

    P.S. Thanks for your comment on my blog :)

  24. nope, i'm not exactly what i thought as a little girl i was gonna be at this age. i wanted to be a doctor when i was little, but now, that is far from what i want. i think the closest i'll ever get to that dream is through grey's anatomy. ;)

    <3, Mimi

  25. When I was 6 years old, I wanted to be a Police Officer. I think I watched too much tv :)

    For most of my childhood I wanted to be a CEO of a multinational corporation. But as I grew up, my opinions changed and since then I've wanted to become a Mechanical Engineer for Ferrari (until Mother told me that Ferrari doesn't need me); a Chiropractor / Physiologist; a Psychologist (until I didn't make the Postgrad Program).

    The result is that I'm almost 30 with half an MBA, a direction-less job and I still don't know what the hell I want! *sigh*

  26. Krysten - I am sure you're a world famous shower know to your shower.

    Katie - Hah, that wasn't my issue (i majored in physics in the end).

    Ellie's desk - It's so sad to hear that libraries are getting phased out.

    SJ - Aw!

    Teacher GIrl - exactly, it wasn't so much a sacrifice as a choice. not better or worse.

    tazer warrior princess - This was an issue for me too.

    Jessi - PUPPPPIES

    Karen - Good for you!

    demie - So true, as long as you're happy it doesn't really matter does it?

    Pretzel Thief - Congratulations I hope you can build on last years achievements!

    Mil - I think I envy doctors the most because they have such a clear career path at the end of it all. you go to school and become a doctor.

    shiny pigeon - Good for you!!

    Helen - Aw, but you're still helping to form the future of the nation so that's something!

    Sonja - To be honest, that's all I know about Bambi because I've never seen it :)

    Alex - Exactly, there is nothing wrong with just enjoying the pets we have and not saving everyone elses.

    Alexa - Haha, maybe someday!

    Nikki - Aw, well I am glad you're at least discussing it with your husband, it's a start. he'll catch on. change is hard.

    Savannah - It's definitely a challenge to pick a job that is satisfying.

    Kimberly - Yay for fellow dog whisperers!

    kimbirdy - my dad had several careers even while I was growing up, so I really support growing and learning and trying new things and changing how you make money as we grow up!

    Susan - Brava!

    Oneika - I thought I'd live in the house I grew up in :) Yes, life is different.

    Anne - Hah, the IRS. Goodness.

    Lozz - good for you getting your PhD that's great! And go to Tassie, it's beautiful!

    mimi - I think sometimes things like "being a doctor" is what we're trained to want to be as a kid until we realise it's not a good fit.

    Azra - I think that's fine! It takes a long time sometimes to figure it all out. There isn't a rush.

  27. I wanted to be EVERYTHING as a kid. I was one of those kids who thought I could everything and do it better than everyone else.

    yeah... I was THAT kid.

    Not much has changed to be honest, but at least now, I'm willing to admit that others can do things better than me, but only if I've failed at it. I'm trying, though. That counts for something, right?

  28. I wanted to be a dentist when I was kid!!

  29. I think that's a pretty smart way to get to work with animals if the first path didn't work out. As a kid I wanted to be teacher. In college I thought I wanted to be a psychologist or therapist, but after interviewing for jobs in that field and on the verge of graduating with a psych degree, I told an interviewer that I didn't want the job, in fact, thank you anyway. I left and became a teacher. So here I am, come full circle. Visiting your blog from SITS and enjoying it!