I don’t know about you, but I seem to spend a ridiculous amount of time fantasising about how much better life would be if I had my dream job.
My current ambitions include: becoming a beekeeper, cheesemonger & white witch (in no particular order, and possibly all at once).
Does this ever end? Should it? Or is it a healthy sign to be an eternal malcontent?
When I was ten and people asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, my answer was that I wanted to be a television newsreader and journalist.
I recently discovered some superb ’80s “before they were famous” style home video footage at my parent’s house of me practising my reportage skills.
I think it’s safe to say that you won’t see me anchoring the ten o’clock news anytime soon.
When I was 12, I saw a poster at High School about joining the staff on the school newspaper.
Excited, I went to the place at the time stated but then chickened out, dismissing myself as unworthy.
This still remains a source of great regret for me today as it probably represented my first chance to follow a path towards a dream, independent from parental persuasion.
When I was 13, I made choices on elective school subjects that would define university options and therefore my whole life.
If I got that far.
When I was 15, I was told by High School that I would be destined to fail (generally) if I didn’t opt to continue beyond my ability in mathematics, a subject causing me endless nightmares, panic attacks and sick days.
Instead of being robust, I accepted this doomsday threat and more tutors were paid for.
In the end, with my confidence in tatters after being made to feel totally incompetent for a year, I never sat the exam.
Funnily enough, it was around this time that I discovered the soothing benefits of alcopops.
Ridiculously, It’s only recently that I’ve been comfortable admitting to this episode.
It has scarred me for life.
When I was 16, our class was told not to even attempt a creative writing submission for our English finals portfolio – discursive essays only as these guaranteed results (again, for the school league tables).
I got an “A,” but never ever dared to use my imagination in class.
I’m still shy admitting that I have one.
When I was 17, I applied to study business & economics at university because it was cool & came easily to me.
My dream job at this stage was anything that could bring about money, great clothes & status.
When I was 21, a degree up yet totally unfulfilled, I used my “A” in English to apply for a law course, “because I’m good with words.”
When I was 25, I was working a sixty hour week as a commercial lawyer in a top London city law firm.
I used to sit on the tube home at midnight paranoid that fellow passengers were laughing at me.
And manically checking my Blackberry.
This was not the dream job they promised.
When I was 30, the global economic crisis spat us all out. I moved away from my husband in London for three years to where the jobs were – my home town of Aberdeen in the north east of Scotland.
I was determined to be the best at my job for all my sacrifices and so worked too hard.
I was married to my job.
Behind my back, other women were saying I wasn’t a team player.
At 32, we had our first child. My employer didn’t want to talk flexible hours and so I became a very bitter & reluctant full time mum.
I will never be as stupid to assume that hard work and reputation buys personal loyalty in business again.
After everything, was motherhood supposed to be my dream job?
Aged 33, I started this blog.
Initially, it was to keep me sane and save me from death by Peppa Pig.
It is now a log book of everything on my mind.
Blogging has opened up so many opportunities in writing that I never thought would present themselves again after chickening out of that High School newspaper meeting 22 years ago.
Age 35. I’m pregnant again. These days, I’m a not-so-bitter-or-reluctant full time mum with a flexible, part time blog.
Money has started trickling in for articles and TV work.
Ok, so it’s a feast or famine in peanuts, but heck – it’s a dream “job” and I’ve met some wonderful and like-minded people through doing it, both on and offline.
It’s been interesting writing all this down.
To consider what “dream job” really means and has meant to me over the years.
Money and survival have to play a key role, of course.
But fate has a funny way of going full circle, doesn’t it?
It just goes to show that no matter where you try to run and hide from yourself in life; there you are.