Saturday, November 24, 2007

The If I Wasn’t Me Meme

Konagod, the doyen of existential commenting and eclectic music tastes (among other amazing talents), has tagged me:

What 5 things would you rather be doing in life if you weren’t doing what you do now?

This assumes that I don’t like what I’m doing now, which is not the case. I like my job and the people I work for. But everyone looks around them and wonders what their life would be like if they had take a different path. So, here goes.

1. Fiction writer. I know, I’m already doing that. But I envision doing it full time, with my own deadlines, and preferably doing it on tropical island with a nice view of the Caribbean, high-speed internet access, and a soft, gentle breeze gently ruffling the papers on my desk.

2. Pilot. I’ve always loved flying, and I even went so far as to solo back in 1971 in a Piper Cherokee. I was forced to give it up because of the expense, but I’d love to go back to doing it. I’m sure the technology has improved over the last thirty years so that I wouldn’t have to do the math to figure out flight plans and stuff, which was always my weak suit. I’d get an old seaplane and fly between the islands of the Caribbean (when I wasn’t writing; see #1), occasionally taking on a passenger or two, but mostly I’d enjoy being up in the air and going where I please.

3. Camp Counselor. I spent ten summers as a camp counselor in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, and it was the best job I ever had. I was in a beautiful part of the country, I loved the teaching, and I made friendships among my campers and fellow counselors that I still cherish to this day, more than twenty years since I last did it.

4. Musician. I took guitar lessons when I was a teenager, and it served me well when I was a camp counselor (see #3). I enjoyed playing with friends and entertaining the kids, and while I didn’t have any delusions of being a soloist, I had a lot of fun.

5. Tour Guide. I wouldn’t do the by-the-book “if it’s Tuesday this must be Belgium” trips but go off the beaten track, visiting places and sights that the cruise ships and all-inclusive packages don’t do. When I travel, I like to go to the little towns, the little restaurants, and meet people who are truly representative of that locality, be it in Italy or Tobago. I also like going to places with palm trees and where they drive on the left, and I’d like to have other people pay me to do that.

Looking back over these choices, I just realized that I’m Jimmy Buffett.

One thing konagod doesn’t know is that I am the dead end of memes; I don’t tag other people. But feel free to pick this up and run with it.