When this month started, Sarie and I were talking and she asked me what I wanted to be, regardless of any conceivable obstacle, and I had answered: “To work for Penguin.” I was met with a look of disappointment—I mean, how unimaginative! So, I took the question to Twitter, out of curiosity, and I was surprised with the volume of answers I was met with (32!).
It also reminded me of one of my most favorite blogs/projects online, Backyard Bill. This is just from what I take from the structure of his posts, but essentially, he takes photos of interesting people, most of whom have interesting occupations and strong personal style. A lot live “alternative lifestyles,” by which I mean that they have occupations that are not very usual or typical. Certainly not pencil-pushing or number-crunching. One of the latest entries featured a jewelry maker, Philip Crangi.
What I like about this project a lot is that, aside from the striking photographs and some background information, it asks these people what they want to be when they grow up. Philip Crangi has some white whiskers already, and seems to have grown into his own person, but when he grows up he wants to be a jewelry designer (still), but he also wants to write science fiction.
This project and the question posed on Twitter both made me think about how a lot of people don’t really get their dream jobs. A lot of people, because of physical restrictions, their existing skill sets, or just the plain fact that that occupation is fictional, won’t be able to reach them at all, even if they tried really, really hard.
But, less depressingly, I thought about how you can kind of fall into a place you didn’t know you wanted to be in at first but can grow to love. I thought about how, even so much later in one’s life, even in old age, things move on and new possibilities can come streaming in. And that’s a calming thought for someone who has been going through a lot of questioning and worrying about the future, i.e. me.
I’ve posted all of the answers on Twitter here, if anyone was inclined to look. Pretty interesting, and varied, and some are pretty downright impossible, but they are futures fun to imagine nonetheless.
Marla was the only person who picked exactly what she already was.
My brother has such lofty aspirations.
The rest are under the cut.