The thought stuck with me as I went through my morning rituals and during the drive into work. I began to think of all the other things I had wanted to be when I grew up. None of them were conventional, most of them completely improbable, but it was fun to review the list all the same.
1. A Cowboy – riding horses all day, being outside, chasing after runaway cattle, getting to spit without your mother yelling at you that it was horribly unladylike and to stop that right now! Sure seemed like a fun way to make a living to me. Still does really, save for the spitting. My mom was right. That is kind of gross.
2. A Pirate – sword fighting, swashbuckling, an eye patch and a parrot, are you kidding me? Sign me up, shanghai me, take me to the seven seas and let me loose! Woo hoo! Sadly this idea came to an abrupt halt when my shark-o-phobia reared its ugly head, but every now and then I’ll grab a long knitting needle and challenge my dog to swordfight. She just looks at me as if I’ve lost my mind and wanders off to find a quiet place to nap.
3. Han Solo and/or Indiana Jones – I had a hard time deciding between the two, but either would have sufficed really. Indy probably had more adventures and didn’t have this gross blob of goo named Jabba trying to kill him; but Han had the Millennium Falcon, and just once I wanted to shout out, “Bank it, Chewie!” and see what would happen as we hit hyperdrive while zipping through an asteroid field. When I yell it out now, the drivers idling in the car next to me just look worried, as if I’m about to go postal.
4. Private Investigator Extraordinaire – I wanted to wear a trench coat and fedora and talk like Joe Friday. I wanted a running narrative overlapping everything I did. I still do. I’m that narcissistic.
5. King – That’s right, I wanted to be King. As a little kid, I didn’t realize King was gender specific, so I had it in my head that when I grew up, I would be King. This goes a long way to explaining the size of my ego. I still answer Supreme Ruler of the Universe whenever somebody asks me what I do for a living. They often scoff at the idea at which point I threaten to sic my evil minions on them.
6. A Spy - I still want to do this one. In fact...maybe I am...maaaaybe I'm not really who you think I am after all...or maybe I'm just off my meds...
And those are just a few of the things. There were others. I wanted to be a genie, bionic, an Olympic athlete, an actress. Any time something caught my imagination I would crawl inside my head and create a world where I could live it. I would walk around and believe for a little while that I was any or all of those things. I still do, I just live it through my characters now. It takes a little less training and I don’t have to get up quite so early in the morning.
So what about you? What did you want to be when you grew up?