Thursday, March 21, 2013

When I Grow Up...

I'm in my forties and I have had about twenty different careers.  OK, not so much "different" as much as diverse.

I started out as a model in my teens.  I did the pageant circuit, got a few crowns, did a little runway and magazine ads, stuff to make my mom happy, before I got bored.

My first hard job, I was a fireman.  Firewoman?  The guys wouldn't let me do much except direct traffic and make coffee, which I didn't drink at the time.  After the first pot of sludge, they didn't ask again. I got to drive the truck a few times, but mostly, just directed traffic, although I did get an offer to pose for a calendar.

I quit.

Joined the military and became a meteorologist.  Traveled the world, got to shoot a weapon and prove I was better than a lot of the men.  Many handed me the gun and stood behind me.  I sort of enjoyed that, but it was a double-edged sword:  I got away with murder because the guys liked me and I got harassed a lot because the guys liked me.  That was fun for seven years overall, I enjoyed it, and had a pretty good knack at actually predicting the weather, but then I got married and had a baby.

I was a mom for a bit, before adding to that...working in a pharmacy.  That sucked and my kid hated daycare.  So that lasted about, oh let's see, two weeks.

I pretty much never shut up in real life and talk so much that to get from A to B, I take thirty-seven tangents and sixteen different stories in between.  So I started writing.  That, I actually liked.  Once I got started, a book actually flowed out of me, then a children's series, then another book started...then I got tired of sitting still for so long.  I realized I wrote mostly at night when I didn't sleep and eventually was just tired all the time.

I began taking pictures to fill my time.

Then, enter Mrs. Volunteer and Advocate.  I volunteered so much at my kids school, they actually gave me an office.  I had articles printed in the paper fighting school closures, and various things that annoyed me, and after a heated speech from a podium, the school board offered me a job.  A paying one.

That lasted half a semester doing accounting for a school, when a child nutritionist position for the district opened up.  Nobody ever says, "I want to grow up to be a lunch lady", but better pay and benefits...I was making more than working in a department store and I kept the same hours as my kids.  Actually got off two hours before school ended which left time for errands!

Then we moved.  Back to volunteer.  On a volunteer committee and a fundraiser for American Cancer Society.  As a survivor, I got tired of "talking about it" and went back to writing.

Sports writer, freelance.  My husband is a sports writer so sometimes I would submit stuff under his name when he encouraged me to start out on my own which I think translated to "get out of my office".  My articles, under a pseudonym, got picked up around the country and I started getting accolades for my work when someone accused me of plagiarism.  Since I write satire, I was a little confused how my disturbing thoughts and sarcasm could ever be construed as belonging to someone else, but whatever.  Sports photography, here I come...

That was ok, but then I really wanted to work for National Geographic (even as a kid), but to apply for a position, they wanted me to pay them for submitting each of my photos for review.  What?!?

Second book still in the works when my godfather goes on book tour and ends up asking me opinions on his work so much I feel more like an editor.  

I'm sure I've skipped over some jobs, but those are some highlights.

Back to volunteering.  Now for an animal rescue group.  I work on the cat team, but also as their official photographer.  I was asked to shoot the calendar they want to use for their fundraiser because they love my pictures of my pets.  (this is Brady)

All the while still wanting to work on my second book, or at the very least, publish the first one!

So I'm bouncing photos off my cousin yesterday and chatting via messenger, when she says, "Ever think of doing your own calendar?"

I just laughed.  

I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up...

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