Day 4: What was your dream job when you were younger?
My dream jobs changed frequently, depending on what my favorite movie or television show was at the time. I guess I’ve always been heavily influenced by the media I consume. But strangely enough, I was always fairly realistic in my dream jobs. Sure, I wanted to be the pink power ranger or a vampire slayer, but I grounded myself in what was potentially achievable.
After I saw (my still No. 1 favorite movie) Jurassic Park, I wanted to be a paleontologist. Still today, I think that’s would have loved to do that, but I’m not super great at science or math. I took a class in college for my science credit called “Age of Dinosaurs,” and while it was a dream class (where we spent out “lab” sessions coloring pictures of dinosaur bones) , it was clear that I was not going to be a paleontologist or archaeologist anytime soon.
For a while, I wanted to be a judge. I’m honestly not sure what brought that on. But in second or third grade, I have a very vivid memory of really, really wanting to sit behind a desk, bang a gavel, and pass judgment on people.
When I was eight years old, I saw Twister, and then obviously I wanted to be a tornado chaser. Man, I was obsessed with that movie, even though it gave me nightmares. Once I realized that you have to go into meteorology to do that, I became much less interested. Again, science and math aren’t my jam, although I really wish they were.
Growing up, I really admired many of my teachers. I think most little kids want to be a teacher at some point in their life (at least it seemed like the majority of my classmates did, too). That’s something I would actually still pursue today with journalism or English. I’m not super great at public speaking, but after doing some panels for conventions, I’ve learned that if I’m talking about something I’m actually knowledgeable about, it’s much less terrifying. Soooo, maybe someday still! I’d love to teach a Japanese literature class and make everyone read and discuss my favorite book: Battle Royale.
The X-Files became one of the most influential shows for me when it came to dream jobs. I wanted to become an FBI agent and work on the X-Files so badly. I had a mini-FBI Agent Kit (along with much X-Files memorabilia) and attempted to do some sleuthing of my own. I still consider this to be a dream job and poke around the FBI websites often looking at their openings. Their physical requirements, even for desk jobs are intense, though. Plus, my fervor for true crime has been reignited this year, so being an FBI agent (even for something having to do with writing) would be the next best thing to being a criminal investigator.
As for the career I chose — journalism — I’m not actually sure what truly inspired that. I always enjoyed writing stories from an early age (mainly about my guinea pig Fuzzy), and English and Reading were always my best school subjects. I think Gilmore Girls played a part in that with Rory’s journalism journey, as well as Veronica Mars. As I grew older, I realized I liked writing non-fiction more than fiction, so it seemed natural to go into journalism rather than English once I got to college. And job prospects seemed more viable with a journalism degree than just an English degree.
Dream jobs are great, but I played to my strengths, which were writing and editing. And I think that opportunities still abound there. I might not be digging up dinosaur bones or chasing aliens, but I can write about how cool both of those things are.