I was having a conversation with Corrine the other day about the study that she is doing – it’s in a field that has always fascinated me and I made the passing comment “In another lifetime…”. I’m really happy with my life the way it is; I’m a case in point that you can always change careers, having changed from marketing and PR to secondary school teaching. The reality is, however, that in order to establish yourself in any type of career you do need to maintain some focus – there really are a finite amount of things that one can do in a lifetime. But it’s fun to think of the “what ifs” sometimes.
So alternate universe me might have:
Become a midwife
The idea of assisting in bringing babies into the world has always fascinated me, even more so since I brought my son into the world. A really bad experience with a science teacher at high school put me off pursuing any of the the sciences further and so by the time I was selecting tertiary study, any science and health-based subjects weren’t even on my radar. I’d love to be present at a birth one day though, even just in a support capacity. I was so not with it enough at my own birth to really appreciate the miracle of bringing a new human into the world.
The downside of studying two separate qualifications in my teens and twenties meant that I missed out on that quintessential Kiwi experience, the O.E. While slumming it in backpacker hostels has never been my particular style (I’m a horrendously light sleeper), I feel like there’s so much of the world to see and I’ve barely seen a sliver of it yet. I know there’s still time, and I’m a huge advocate for travelling both with your kids and without them, but a part of me does wonder what it would have been like to “do Europe” while I was still young and free from responsibilities.
I LOVE the beach, and as I moved into my teaching qualification I was seriously toying with the idea of moving to Tauranga/Mt Maunganui once I graduated. I saw myself teaching during the day then strolling along the beach at night to wind down. Then I met a man whose specialist job is likely to keep us in Auckland, where the housing market prices keep us far from the beach… ah well, at least petrol is cheap enough at the moment that I can drive there on a regular basis!
Opened a cafe
To be honest, I still think about doing this sometimes. Our current town lacks a cafe with a really decent child-friendly zone and most parents are stuck driving to the nearest Mitre 10 Mega – they do have pretty awesome playgrounds. I’m a foodie, plus I’ve had years of customer service experience so it wouldn’t be completely out of the blue for me to do, but it’s a heck of a lot of capital investment and I’m pretty content with my life right now.
Been a “professional student”
I think that one of the reasons that I love teaching is because I LOVE learning too. Off the top of my head I can think of at least three other courses of studies that I would love to do and I would honestly be happy attending university for the rest of my life… but that’s just not a practical step to do when, you know, you actually need to earn some money to support your family.
Stayed at home longer (or worked out another solution)
I moved out of home at seventeen, due to the difficulties of having a sister with a high level of special needs – she was still at the time not very verbal, so a lot of screams – and also due to just sheer stubborness and strong will. I can’t deny, however, that Present Me would have been a lot better off financially if I’d managed to stick it out at home or come up with another solution like moving in with family. Hindsight, huh?
It’s so interesting to look back and see how you might have done things differently if your life had bene just that little bit different. It’s never too late to make changes but it’s also alright to just leave them as dreams “in another lifetime” and enjoy the life you have.
What would you have done in another lifetime?