Sunday, June 15, 2008

Forum #3 - What Did(Do) I Want to Be When(If) I Grew(Grow)Up

Thanks to the oh-so-talented and lovely Countess Momma over at Poetic License, I have been asked to talk about the one topic that has dogged me my entire life; I am faced yet again with the infernal eternal question, the one I meditate on daily. My life's great mystery.

What on earth do I want to be when I grow up?

Perhaps it is best to first look at this through the eyes of a much younger Baroness. What did I want to be, wa-a-a-a-a-y back, when I grew up?

It is important to note here that the problem has historically always been a complete lack of focus. I wanted to be many things (and I still do).

In kindergarten, for example, I wanted to be a doctor. So much so, that when we had our end-of-year "Career Day" presentation for our parents (which is so darling, by the way - foisting career choices onto 5 year olds...), and when I found out that I would be a nurse to Joanne's doctor, I went apoplectic.

At that point, I should have considered law, as I presented (what I, at least, perceived to be) a cold, hard, and well-observed truth that would rival any adult's. Joanne, in my estimation, was a complete idiot. There was no way on earth that she would have the drive and determination to EVER become a doctor. Yet the fabulous doctor's bag was handed to her on a silver platter. Such a travesty.

Today, for all I know, Joanne is the chief surgeon at John Hopkins.

But back then. Ah, back then. I wanted to be the doctor, dammit.

Then there was my arts phase. I did tap-dancing. Baton-twirling. Both of which, I am sure, instilled in me my love of all things shiny. But, as I may have mentioned previously, I am hopelessly unco-ordinated, and so in no way, shape or form would I ever be the superstar of any of these disciplines.

I was a journeyman (journeychild?) at best, filling out the numbers so the line looked complete. (Let me take the opportunity to apologize to my classmates for any ongoing memory losses or personaltity quirks that may have resulted from errant batons and their subsequent head traumas)

As an only child, I was often left to my own devices for self-entertainment. I loved to sing, and this passion was indulged by my parents with the gifts of a portable record player and many, many records. Most were 45's (with their own holder), some were albums.

One of my favorites was the Mary Poppins soundtrack , and after listening to the album over and over and over again, day after day after day, I decided it was time.

Time to put on my own one-woman show. As an homage, as it were, to Julie Andrews (could I possibly sound more like David Sedaris right here?).

I'm not sure exactly how I persuaded my neighborhood compatriots to come and watch this off-off Broadway production, but they did.

And were highly underwhelmed. Which puzzled me.

Because I thought I rocked it.

And I didn't.

I wholly blame Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman. Bastards. Because it sure had nothing to do with me.

Fast forward to early high school. I am in love with tennis star Bjorn Borg. How will I ever meet him, I wonder? Well, of course! I, too, will become a tennis phenomenon, will play mixed doubles with him at Wimbledon, will dance with him at the winner's dinner, make him fall in love with me, and we'll have achingly beautiful Swedish-Canadian babies, with blonde hair and close-set Mediterranean blue eyes.

One problem.

Did I mention the lack of co-ordination?

Post-high school. I revisit the doctor thing again in my brief foray into university. I come to realize that interns do not get a lot of sleep. I like a lot of sleep. There is no way this will work.

Then there's the fashion stream. I consider going to Fashion Merchandising School in Florida (the ad is in the back of a Seventeen magazine - it must be legitimate). Then I consider leaving the home where I am the awkward yet essential third edge of an unpleasant family dynamic. If I left, what would happen? The triangle would collapse.

Scrap that idea.

Then there is venturing into the world of modelling. A tippy-toe in over the edge, a brief (yet well-renumerated) television appearance, then a toe out. Enough of that. I cannot live on steamed carrots and gum.

I realize at this point that I need some sort of post-secondary training to pay the bills (for which I, ironically, take out student loans). I take a Chemical Sciences course - again with the lab coats - in Physical Metallurgy. Why? There are no smelters on this side of the country, we do not have any huge steel manufacturers here. I guess it was to prove to myself that I could.

And I did get pseudo-related jobs after that. Well-paying, but ultimately unsatisfying.

Which leads me back, once again, to the dread career path. To find the one thing I love to do, and as they say, the money will follow.

The path which I sometimes stay on, but most ofter meander off of.

Because I love to meander - is there money in that?


David said...

Oh God, now you have me running through the Mary Poppins sound track in my head...."Just a spoon full of sugar....Chim chiminey chim chiminey chim chim cheru, good luck will rub off when I shake hands with you, or blow me a kiss girl, cause thats lucky too..." Ah what a waist of talent. I wanted to be the Dick Van Dyke to Julie Andrews if there ever was a sequel. Damn you Walt Disney!!!

Baroness von B said...

Count David: I know!! Extremely catchy music. My personal favorite was "I Love to Laugh", while they're drinking tea and floating on the ceiling...Finally, someone had given me validation that is was all right to snort. Because I do.

And in the remake who would be your Julie Andrews?

Momma said...

Oooo! Thanks for doing this one! I'm delighted to see that you're a fellow wanderer. I have often said that I wish there were more years in a life so that I could be everything I want to be, and there are so many things.

Personally, I could never twirl a baton worth anything (also uncoordinated), but when I see the girls doing that in parades? I still go, "Oh! Shiny..."


Peace - D

iPost said...

A soulmate! Is that too presumptuous? To call a Baroness a soul mate? Ahy how, I too have always dreaded the question and still have a yearning to become eighteen million different things.

Mental P Mama said...

If you can find a way to be compensated for meandering, please make sure to let me know!

The Queen said...

Oh my dear Baroness,

I do remember when I was young and wanted to be ballerina, But it is very difficult to do pilats in a barn filled with cows, the best one is a gymnast after the summer olympics...But somehow I ended being a paramedic and on my off days a queen of a castle. I have no idea how this happened...
I did have the job as a meander when I was 17...for a whole year I wondered about the united states and was the best year of my life... Too bad I couldn't have made money at it ... I was a great meander.

Lisa said...

Once I left my dreams of being a gas station attendant and "The Wild World of Sports" behind, I focused on wanting to become an attorney. Recently I gave some pretty seriousconsideration to opening a catering/personal chef business, and haven't completely rules it out, but the hours and committment are just not conducive to my preferred lifestyle -- which means less time working, not more. I guess I'll figure it out eventually. In the meantime, healthcare has a hold on me .... how boring, eh? .... Barbra Peapod

Baroness von B said...

Countess D: Gotta love the shiny!

Countss iPost: Presume away, hon!
Any nobleness of yours truly ends when I walk away from my computer.

And I agree that life would be oh-so-much easier if there were only 2 or 3 choices. Damn that free will.

Countess MPM: I assure you, that once I've been to the bank to deposit my humungous meandering revenues, you're first on my list to let know.

Your Majesty: Who didn't want to be Olga Korbut or Nadia Comenici?

Countess Babs: You might consider it boring, but I'm pretty sure that the work you do has a positive effect on someone somewhere down the line...

neutron said...

Money for meandering? Maybe you can become an economist!

Anonymous said...

I laugh at your uncoordination as it is a trait I share with you, sometimes to excess.
Alas, you likely sing better than I do.
But even as a babe, I could totally tell that Dick Van Dyke totally had the squishy heart for Ms. Poppins!

Spit Spot!

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Count of Ping Pong: I didn't say it would work - so I guess that makes me a theorist economist.

Countess AG: The only not Spit Spot in that movie was Mr. Van Dyke's accent. Hilarious!!

Not Afraid to Use It said...

I still wonder what I am going to be when I grow up. Hubbie and have had some serious discussion lately that revolve around the fact that we have to stop living like college students and have a "proper" house. Sigh. Glad to see I'm not the only meanderer out there.

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Countess NATUI: A lot of my conversations with the hubster start with "I have this idea...".

Don't stop with your meandering - it is what makes you so fascinating!

Writeprocrastinator said...

"Today, for all I know, Joanne is the chief surgeon at John Hopkins."

No, she's still eating paste and hiking her skirt up for no particular reason.

"Because I love to meander - is there money in that?"

It has made this guy a millionaire.

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Count WP: Oh, you've met Joanne? Tell her I still harbour ill feelings, and that she would be a menace with a stethoscope & blood pressure cuff...

And for that guy - crap. If this is how I have to sell my soul to get some good coinage out of meandering, I'll just do it for free.

Anonymous said...

I want to be a lottery-winning traveling philanthropist. Giving money away in exotic places, knowing that I can go home whenever I want to my little place on Saltspring and grow chives.

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Countess Rachel: I want you to be a lottery-winning traveling philanthropist, too.

And that ain't no chive.

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