I’m a public school teacher. And as much as I may fantasize about it, I’m not quitting my job anytime soon. But that doesn’t stop me from imagining myself in another occupation - some real, some imagined.
A Astronaut. It was my first career goal. And there’s still a part of me that wonders if I would have been able to do it. If I hadn’t gotten scared, hadn’t decided to stay local, would I have gone after my dream? Would I have achieved it? And what must it be like to leave the confines of gravity and see our planet in a way few others have?
B Bookmobile Driver. I’d be “book lady.” I’d drive and bring books to people who want them. I’d be able to get books into the hands of those who didn’t have a library nearby.
C Caterer (with a twist). My husband tells me that his lunches are often the envy of his co-workers. His lunches are often just left-overs from dinners I’ve made the night before. So, I could start a niche side-business, catering to employees who desire simple, home-cooked lunches at reasonable prices.
D Decorator, specifically classrooms. Each summer, I go back to a barren classroom and convert it to a room that is colorful and welcome and engaging for students. Not all teachers have classrooms that show any sort of decoration (or effort). That’s where I’d come in. I’d design a cozy library corner. An attractive bulletin board with a fun border.
E Event planner. I am inspired by Franck Eggelhoffer, the wedding-coordinator in Steve Martin’s Father of the Bride. I am an organized, detailed person. I could coordinate a florist, a caterer, a photographer and the multitude of others who help to create a glorious wedding. And without tooting my own horn too much, I’m sure I could be just as effective for any special occasion.
F Florist. For approximately four years, I worked in a flower shop, an over-priced flower shop with a boss that was utterly a mean person. But the flower part I enjoyed. It’s an honor to help create flowers for someone’s wedding, someone’s prom, someone’s family dinner. Working with flowers, there’s daily beauty and elegance.
G Grocery shopper. I could be a personal shopper for others. I’m a good grocery shopper. I shop with coupons and the weekly sale paper. I load up my cart each week, with necessities and extras, all the way saving a multitude of money. For those who don’t have the inclination or who don’t feel the thrill of a good deal, I’m their gal.
H Handwriter - as in, one who does handwriting. Since I was in elementary school, I have been told that I have neat handwriting. What if I could use those skills to make some money and work at home? Addressing envelopes, gift tags, place cards.
I Instructor. (And yes, there’s a difference between my
current public-school teacher job). As a teacher, I attempt to maintain my students’ focus and attention. An instructor teaches students who voluntarily enroll for his/her courses. These are paying adults who want to be in a particular class. You automatically are working with a different audience. You teach differently; more effectively, certainly more efficiently.
J Journalist. I imagine myself a journalist, working on my contribution to create a newsworthy, comprehensible, intelligible publication.
K Keyboarder. Typing can put me in a zen-like state. I don’t have to be fully present and on-alert the way I do when I’m teaching. More and more, I believe my state of mind would greatly benefit from a job that was still productive while not being as emotionally, and physically, draining as my current teaching career.
L Librarian. I am a book lover. How peaceful I imagine my days to be surrounded by books, assisting others in locating a book or information. A place where yelling and running isn’t allowed. A place that is a sanctuary.
M Marine biologist. I know it doesn’t fit with my life now, but there is a part of me that is intrigued by the prospect of observing whales in their natural habitats. Surveying and studying these graceful giants.
N NASA educational representative. Working within NASA’s educational offices would allow me to marry two of my passions - teaching children and space exploration.
O Outfit Coordinator. Nothing fancy; I don’t want to dress anyone for a red carpet. I’m talking about putting together cute outfits for children (I enjoy selecting my son’s clothes) or matching a shirt with a pair of earrings and complimentary necklace. (I am a person who changes my jewelry daily to match my outfit).
P Proofreader. I’m good at finding typos; a trait I inherited from my mom. At school, I’m often asked to proofread a letter before hundreds of copies are made and distributed to our students. What if I got paid for that? I could work from home, and set my own hours.
Q Quintessential Me. Whatever I’m doing on a particular day - whether more mom, more teacher, more housekeeper, I need to be the best version of “me.” Sometimes it’s so easy to lose sight of the things that make me a better me (sleep, down-time).
R Reader. I’d love to be the person who reads aloud to children each week at the local book store. As a college student, I was a reading volunteer in a Los Angeles classroom. I love reading aloud to my students. And as a parent, I become frustrated at the lack of enthusiasm some readers demonstrate when they read aloud to a bookstore audience, including my son and I. (First off, the book should be held open and facing your listeners!)
S Stay-at-home mom. Before I became a mother, I never knew if I’d really want to be a stay-at-home mom. It wasn’t easy getting my college degree, acquiring my teaching position. Did I want to give it up? Did I want to define myself solely as someone’s mother? Now, as the mother of a toddler, the answer is “yes.” My job as mother is completely more fulfilling and more rewarding than that of public school teacher. But, finances dictate both my husband and I work.
T Tutor. Sometimes I think being a tutor would better satisfy the need I have to teach children, interact with children, and make a difference in a child’s life. So much of my day is spent doing non-teaching-related tasks (being mediator, therapist, nurse) for my students. A tutor can focus on a small group of students (versus my 32).
U University student. I feel like I missed so much during my college years. For me, it was purely a means to an end. I wanted to be a teacher; I needed a college degree. College was a challenging time of riding public buses, working part-time, getting married, maintaining “A’s.” I didn’t enjoy it. I’d love to go back and take classes for the pleasure of learning.
V Visual Merchandiser. I think I was first intrigued back in 1987 with the Andrew McCarthy film Mannequin. I imagine a land of make-believe, creating window displays and floor plans that entice browsers and shoppers.
W Writer. I’ll admit it - I fantasize that someone, somewhere will read my blog and “discover” me. They’ll realize I should be writing everyday, or at least every week, and getting paid for it. I will not just be a writer - but a paid writer.
X Movie Extra. I have no interest in being an actress. But, speaking as someone who has never worked as an extra, I am intrigued by the idea of being a part of the background - a guest at a wedding, a woman sitting at a nearby table in the restaurant, one in a crowd at an athletic event.
Y Yes-woman. As in, “Yes, I’m happy with the way I spend the majority of my day.” “Yes, I find fulfillment in my career.” “Yes, I feel appreciated.” “Yes, I feel my efforts are worth my time.” Currently, I cannot truthfully speak those statements. Maybe one day.
Z Zoo writer. One who writes for the zoo. Writes the blog, updating the world on the adventures of a new panda. One who writes brochures. One who writes information for child-friendly websites.