I distinctly remember being in the 5th grade, sitting around at the end of class picnic and having to listen to everyone else prattle on about what they were going to “be” when they grew up. I only knew I wanted to be something that made me boatloads of cash without doing any actual work. What job that was, I had no idea.

To be honest, at 10 years old, I’d never thought about future career choices.

So when it came to me, I simply copied whatever the person before me said. It happened to be “a secretary.” At age 10, I wanted to “be a secretary when I grew up.”

I didn’t know what a secretary did, only that it saved me from saying “something that made me fistwads of cash,” or worse, stuttering blankly. Everyone else seemed so sure of what they wanted to do.

Every time I said that I wanted to be a doctor, people sort of patted me on the head and said a condescending “there there.” But a secretary, that seemed to be an okay choice. I turned 10, by the way, in 1990.

I never did find out what a secretary did until I became a nurse case manager in 2006, and I didn’t really let anyone deter my decision to become a doctor until I had a bouncing baby crotch parasite make that decision for me.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it, because I was always at the top of my science classes, but that it just didn’t make any sense. Especially with single motherhood looming. So nursing it was, and nursing I hated.

I’ve left the sort of nebulous idea of what I was going to be when I grew up idea to fester until I really had time to pursue it. I plan to go back to school to get my PhD in virology (study of viruses)(I make myself sound so nerdly)(wanna make out?) when the kids are older. But for now, I’m making a go at writing.

And because I’ve never been able to be very successful at anything that I’ve done besides sit at home and eat bon-bons* and watch soap operas, I feel like I need to make a success out of myself.

To prove to myself that I can do something.

Maybe that sounds dumb, I don’t know. But because I’ve never really had the opportunity to have some sort of career that I actually liked or felt like I could be any good at, I am earnestly saccharine about making this work. And I will make it work because that’s what I do: I make impossible situations work. Eventually.

(Like the time I ate a whole box of cupcakes in a day)

I don’t go to work and have co-workers and meetings and bosses and feedback and a desk and a commute and coffee breaks and status updates and a help(less) desk and a supply closet. Sometimes I wish I did.

My day is surrounded by small people who poop their pants and teeth on my legs. I love them with all my heart, but I love me too.

I’ve been beating myself about the head with a mallet trying to figure out how I’m going to make something of myself. What I’m going to make out of myself.

I flash back to the 5th grade picnic every time The Daver and I have the same conversation (tri-weekly) that I had that warm, spring day:

The Daver: “What are you going to do? Because you’re miserable here.”

Aunt Becky: “Is this a multiple choice question? I can totally beat those just by guessing. I’ll go with letter C. Always best to go with C.”

The Daver: “I’m serious, Becky.”

Aunt Becky: “So am I, The Daver. C is always the way to go**.”

The Daver: “You need to figure out what to do with your life.”

Aunt Becky: “Wow! Since you put it THAT way! Okay. I’ll draw up a list of options.”

(draws a stick figure of The Daver with Aunt Becky cutting off his head. Doodles blood spurting all over the page. The draws “HEEELLLPPP MEEEEE! I’M SOOORRRYYY! bubble coming from his mouth)

The Daver: “Are you done?”

Aunt Becky: “Yep. I figured it ALL out.”

(wanders off)

It’s not that I don’t know what I want to do with my life, or even how I want to go about doing it, it’s just that these things take time. I’m a writer and the market for writers–even those with agents–isn’t hugely sprawling right now. So I wait.

I sharpen my knife, I pollute the Internet, I try to get my name out there without committing murder and I wait. Eventually, things will happen. My Empire is being assembled.

Bit by bit.

What else should I do while I wait, Pranksters? Because Daver’s right, I can’t live like this forever. I need stuff-n-things to do. Interview me, give me jobs, make me do things, help me, Band of Pranksters, I beg of you. (At least until the weather warms up.)

*WTF is a bon-bon?

**this is a lie.

—————-

I am totally going to make more of those cards available for (free) download. I’m in the middle of a site redesign, and I’ll have a whole page devoted to it because honestly, writing those was more fun than I’ve had in ages. BUT, I need to find more of the post cards that are FREE and not copyrighted.

So, Merry Pranksters, if you know where a certain Aunt Becky can find those (or if you want to make the images yourself and give them to me to use), it’s on like Donkey Kong.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

107 Responses to Because Not Everyone Can Be A Ballerina

  • Dorothy says:

    Sucks when you are lost doesn’t it?
    I sent you an email.
    Your friend in depression, vodka and seeing dogs on roofs,
    Dorothy

  • Dorothy says:

    Am I supposed to be all nerdy and yell “first?”
    Because that is NOT me.
    Dorothy

  • I do creative things to sustain me while I work toward an eventual PhD in psychology. I got myself a DSLR and furiously photograph everything I can; I design websites and blog like crazy; I write, make jewelry, create my own cards, etc. I sort of see it as enriching my life now, and having a nice set of fun skills/hobby for later. I don’t see it as serious work (but I don’t mean any offense to anyone who does any of those things as serious work, it’s just not something I personally can take seriously)but I do occasionally get paid to do these things, which makes it even MORE fun. But I do it without the expectation of making serious money.

    ANYWAY. If you make cards, why not set up an ETSY store? It gives you a purpose, and an outlet, all at the same time. PLUS, you know that we who worship at the altar of Aunt Becky would love nothing more than to have cleverly crafted sarcasm in the form of a card to send one another in the post. ;)

    (and yes, I want to make out)

  • Antropologa says:

    You know, I can’t recall what I wanted to be as a kid. I’ll have to ask my mom!

  • Karen says:

    I used to know what I wanted to do with me life. Then once I did it, I realized it sucked. Now I have no idea. I really just want to be Paris Hilton from like 3 years ago. I can go to parties and carry a monkey around, say “That’s Hot” and embarrass my family. I think I’d be good at that.

  • Stephanie says:

    Bex, I wanted to be a teacher when I was younger. I didn’t have imaginary friends, I had imaginary students. Now? I don’t think I could teach – most kids are rotten little assholes (don’t flog me about that statement. Most of my friends’ kids are rotten little assholes).
    I would relish getting an Aunt Becky-designed card in the post. I’d frame that bitch and make it my own. Hell, I’d send them to myself!
    Dude, if I had the monies, I’d so hire you. Not sure what for, unless it was simply to proclaim to the world how awesome I am. :) Yeah, that’s it…
    I still haven’t made anything of myself…boo.

  • Dory says:

    I have some totally corny art in my graphic library that is ackshully legal and paid for and stuff. I’d be happy to send you some to give to your cause. Because it seems prudent to keep you very, very busy. ;)

  • Amanda says:

    I think that Melanie has some totally awesome ideas. Especially the ETSY store for the cards. They would be bestsellers – after all that site that offers to send you a phone call when your in a situation you don’t want to be in is pretty darn popular.

    Your pretty creative – that jewelry idea is pretty sweet too – something like mothers jewelry? You could advertise on your site and some others and I bet you would get hits. Plus, you wouldn’t have to actually purchase the supplies until you were commissioned.

    YOU ARE however NOT boring, even if you don’t know what a bonbon is.

    Which, by the way it’s a covered cream puff. Or least that’s what I deem it to be. :)

  • BigSis says:

    When I was little, all I wanted to be was a mommy. I did the 20 years of education, got the degrees and have been in the work force proving myself for 12 years (even have a VP title) only to realize that all want to be is a mommy. Working sucks.

  • The Fresh Prince said always pick “C”. Listen to the Fresh Prince.

    I’m gonna be a total douche and say…

    YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU WANT! YOU’RE A WOMAN! YOU HAVE THE POWER! YOU MAKE HUMANS! JUST THINK OF WHAT YOU CAN DO!

  • Elly Lou says:

    My brother would tell people he wanted to be aluminum siding as a kid. Have you considered that career track?

  • Anna says:

    I work a day job that is just that – a job – and whine about wanting to do something in my life that I actually love to do. I’m such a risk-taker!

  • Sam says:

    I emailed you to see if you’d grace my blog with a guest post since I’m running out of wit/brains/ideas….but it probably went to spam. Spam sounds like Sam, so it’s totally possible. I’m sure computers operate by rhyming. If it did go to spam, you’re still invited. If you just deleted it because I’m a stalker, I understand. But the invite stands regardless! :)

  • Regina says:

    I used to play schoolteacher all the time when I was a kid. It worked because there were no students. The fact that I can’t get through a work day without cursing is one reason I am not a teacher. I don’t think parents would take kindly to me screaming, “Sit down and shut up you little shits!”. Plus, I am a terrible teacher. I can do something well, but can not get through to people how I do it.
    And don’t feel too bad- I am in my late 40′s, have worked at the same job for almost 12 years, but still don’t know what I want to “be”. I’ll probably still be wondering on my death bed.

  • Dawn says:

    I used to HATE when people asked me what I wanted to be when I “grew up” because I was 10 in 1967 and all I could see woman doing was being stay-at-home moms, nurses and secretaries* and I didn’t particularly fancy any of those jobs. I knew I wanted to be a mom, but they were asking what I wanted to do until Prince Charming showed up and I didn’t have a clue. I wanted to be a doctor, too, but adults would have laughed me into next week if I’d said that back then. (Now that I work with doctors, I’m glad I didn’t, because HE-LO-LOOO! STRESSFUL PROFESSION).

    I think you should go for the card thingy and perhaps branch off into other products if that takes off. I wish I could offer to provide the artwork, but I don’t think there’s a market for cards with stick people, no matter how clever the text.

    *guess what I became. Yep. Have moved slightly beyond that now, but believe you me, secretary was never my life goal.

  • I always wanted to be a mom or a writer, so now I’m a stay at home mom with a pathetic cob-web enhanced blog and loving every minute of it!

  • Mary Sue says:

    My day is surrounded by small people who poop their pants and teeth on my legs.

    So, it’s just like being a nurse, then.

    When I was 10 in 1989, I wanted to be the first female and the first Hispanic President of the USA after a successful professional ballet career. By the time I was 12 I realised I had enough skeletons in my closet that I’d never be elected President.

    I think I’d still be an awesome professional ballet dancer, even though I’m 5’4″ and 300lbs and have a degenerative cartilage disease and well past the peak age for dancers (which is 23 or 24).

    We’ll just table the dance career until after I get bored with materials management.

  • joann Mannix says:

    You’re so lucky to be figuring this out now, with your young life spread before you. Some of us, ahem, are slow bloomers and sit around sucking their thumb in confused misery until they’re muuuuch older.

    The market thing is killing me, too. I wait and write and wait and write. Here’s a toast to the days to come, when the publication market rises from the ashes and people begin to READ, again. *Sigh* I’m right there with you, sister.

  • The Mommy says:

    I think that you need a creative outlet. I think that creative outlet is writing. And sarcasm. So…write some sarcastic books. I’ll buy one! And tell all of my friends!

    I always knew I wanted to be a wife/mommy when I grew up. But I grew up in the 70′s and people wanted to hear you say impressive things. I usually said “lawyer” until I found out what they actually did. I ended up becoming an analytical chemist (don’t be too impressed) and did that for about 8 years until I met the man of my dreams and had a houseful of babies. Now I’m living my childhood dream…and using my chemistry to make “bombs” out of vinegar, baking soda, and ziploc bags to entertain the kiddos. Fun!

  • amber says:

    I agree with the Etsy store promoting folks. You could probably make some serious (okay at least a little bit) of cash doing that.

    Maybe you should do more of the conference circuit? You know, go and speak about how to be full of The Awesome and shit? That would be good for the ego if nothing else.

    Or, you can come do my job. I seriously could use a break right about now. No? Damn.

  • LOL!! What a great post ~ too funny! But then I realized that you are looking for some meaning in your lief! It’s out there and you will find it!! One day at a time ~ and I’m really sure you could make it as a feature writer somewhere!!! Good luck!

  • Angela says:

    Heck, I’ve been a high school art teacher for 12 yrs and STILL don’t know what I want to do when I grow up! (I’m 37 BTW). Try not to let it get you down!

  • Lisa says:

    Regardless of what you decide, remember that your current “gig” as stay at home mother to very small children will only last another four years at most. Then your days will be open as your babies will be at school all day.

    Sometimes realizing that this incredibly challenging, demanding and exhausting time of motherhood is merely a fraction of our lifespan can give you some helpful perspective.

    In the meantime there is chocolate…

  • I wanted to be a teacher just so I could write on the chalkboard. Lame. I know. Don’t feel bad. Only like 0.5%* of the population has any clue as to what they really want to do.

    *totally made this number up

  • Becky, A possible source for images is Wiki Commons – google it – the address is painfully long for some reason. Also this place – Creative commons flickr – http://creativecommons.org/

    And this place on flickr too – http://www.flickr.com/photos/pingnews/collections/72157600007938726/ they are public domain images – some of which are a freaking scream and begging for you.

  • Laura says:

    I just want a supply closet. Someone keeps stealing all of my post-its. Santa even brought her her own post-its and she still steals mine.

    1. There is nothing wrong with being a mommy while building and waiting for your empire.

    2. You have a HUGE following. Develop some sort of blog group/catalog and make money with advertising.

    You are a smart cookie. You will figure it out.

  • My husband told me once that he would never do a job that he didn’t enjoy, and he never has.
    I’ve only worked jobs that I absolutely hated and have spent the last 5 years trying to figure out how to become what I want to be when I grow up.
    It’s never dumb to try to figure out how to be happy.

  • Shell says:

    I think I’d like to find out what a bon-bon is, though my expanding ass probably doesn’t need any.

    I don’t plan on “doing” anything until my youngest is in school. And even then, I know I’ll be busy being the nightmare parent that I used to hate when I was teaching, going in and pestering my boys’ teachers to be sure they aren’t slipping through the cracks. Can I get paid to do that? That would be nice.

  • Andrea says:

    I also turned 10 in 1990. But I wanted to be a ballerina (gasp), an astronaut, or the president when I grew up. To all three, people looked at me amused and patted my head, like, “funny little girl. she thinks she’s coordinated and/or smart enough for those jobs.” I think that explains the 4 times I’ve changed careers.

  • I did want to be a secretary..or office assistant/manager and I did it, then morphed into the IT department data analyst cuz I loves me some data. But then I left to be a SAHM. Now, having lived the dream I have to think of something else to do and it’s not easy. I find menial work is good at focusing my mind on other things I’d like to do. I’ve taken jobs at fast food places and grocery stores before just to get my head together. Though that is tricky when you need childcare. Maybe do something with growing orchids since you are already growing them. Find an orchid niche

  • Libby says:

    I read stories about people who leave their jobs to follow their dreams, and I am so jealous. If I had a dream I would sooo follow it.

  • Jennifer B says:

    Well technically, I have a career – I’m a biology teacher. So I think I’m equally so if not more nerdy than you Aunt Becky. Wanna make out and say words no one else knows??? I can totally feel you in my xiphoid process baby. But my career sucks ass. I mean, kids are actually ok, it’s the parents that make my life a living hell. That and having constant budget cuts make your job impossible. So I’m struggling with what to be when I grow up too. When I was five (1979 yo), I wanted to be an astronaut. I think that’s pretty much out. But I would love, love, love to go and get my PhD in something. I’m so freakin good at school. Can I do that as a job??

  • So funny. I wanted to be something NOBLE… like a writer… when I grew up. Money never crossed my mind. I’m not saying this because I think I’m better than you. I’m saying this because I was an idiot. SURE WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO HAVE CONSIDERED MONEY AT SOME POINT BEFORE I GOT THE BIGGEST SHITLOAD OF STUDENT LOANS THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN. Guh. What a dumbass I was. All you need is love? Pfffffttt!!!!

    Perhaps a BALANCE is needed. Money, happiness, nobility… That’d be nice.

    • Jennifer B says:

      Alicia-
      Damn… that’s what I did too… I was all “hey – I LOVE biology, I’ll just stick with that.” Then I graduated and went, “uh…… now what???”. Still working on even making a DENT in the damn student loans, but I have a Master’s degree. Big whoop.

  • a says:

    I always wanted to be independently wealthy, so I wouldn’t have to worry about figuring out a career plan. Now, the state (and by the state, I mean YOU) pays me to comment on your blog. Oh, I mean analyze evidence (I comment on my break time)…which, in theory is really cool, but in practice is just as routine as the next job.

    I don’t really see why you couldn’t take a class per semester and get on with your eventual plan to take over the world through viral infection. A couple hours a few days a week would probably be good for you, and give you some fodder for your other interim writing career.

  • Kelly says:

    I still have ugly flashbacks to ballet class when I was about 4 or 5 years old…I was the only kid with a red leotard, the rest of the girls had black, and I was the only kid who was chubby (I thought), (what 4 or 5 year old thinks such things?) The other bad idea in this? I have no cooridination at all what-so-ever, and never have. I can fall down, anywhere, anytime, and under any circumstances. Ballet did not help me with coordination either. Grace has never been associated with me.

    I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, maybe someday it will come to me.

  • eringirl says:

    I am on career #2 at age 27. Actually career #3 as a swim coach is coexisting with career #2. I have a BA in politics and religion and an MA in education. And what do I do? I work in a car dealership. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up but you give me hope that if I want to study viruses or bugs or dinosaurs or something that I will be totally capable after I pop out a few children. I choose this as my inspirational post for the day. Thanks.

  • JennyMac says:

    I am still laughing that you ate an entire box of cupcakes…pray tell they were chocolately and sinful.

  • Rebecca says:

    I said secretary when I was asked at the age of 17 or 18 at a high school graduation thingie………I am so disorganized that secretary would never fit me……

  • Yes, Aunt Becky. I want to make out. Because smart, ambitious chicks rock.

    If I could do anything it would probably be to go back and get a PhD in medieval history. Or become an English teacher. Either one. One means a job, the other doesn’t. And I got the pleasure of getting my Bachelor’s in what my “passion” was. Which also didn’t mean a job. So I question my judgement still when it comes to this question.

    I think that being Aunt Becky is a wonderful thing to be when you grow up. Eventually. Until then, let’s keep having potty mouths.

  • Anne says:

    You have NO IDEA how much this post hits home for me. NO IDEA. I only just recently discovered what I want to do with my life (and I’m 32) but I can’t get there yet and it’s frustrating the HELL out of me. And the ironic thing? You want to know what I am doing while I wait to conquer the world? I’m a secretary (of sorts). GAH!!! I did not know, either, what I wanted to be when I grew up but it certainly was NOT this. Collating can kiss my ass.

  • Denise says:

    I totally wanted to be a mermaid when I grew up. Unfortunately that didn’t work out and I’m still searching. Good luck with the cards, they are awesome!

  • michele says:

    i recommend online classes. then you can work on getting the smarts on viruses while not sleeping. it makes insomnia sooo much more productive, at least for me ;)

  • honeywine says:

    Uhhh…I have no idea. You do realize that most of the world doesn’t know what it wants to be when it grows up? I’m working on planning the garden until they put me in the ground and garden over top of me. Seriously, that’s all I got.

  • ColinP says:

    Ok, since I don’t think anyone talked about it, bon bons are chocolate candies, usually with something in the center (fruit, nuts whatever…) and yes I would totally make out with Aunt Becky the virologist.

  • Mrs Soup says:

    <3

  • Kristine says:

    I wanted to be an engineer when I grew up – I decided this at age 9 after visiting my Dad’s office and finding out that he mostly did crossword puzzles at work. I thought – hey boatloads of cash and not much work – THAT’S something I could totally do. See – I’m pretty sure we’re twins.

  • Ashley says:

    I was totally the girl sitting next to you thinking “what the hell am I suposed to say? three girls in a row can’t say secretary, that would sound stupid, maybe a teacher or a doctor or some other bull shit like that” and the whole time people are staring at me becuase they just asked what I want to be when I grow up and my eyes glazed over and I started to drool. Yeah I still dont know either, but hey if you find that crap load of money for little work job, please pass the info on!

  • A bon-bon is candy! Yummmm.

    I think you’re an awesome writer, and I think big things are coming your way. I also think that your plans to go back and do some nerdy-science-doctor-stuff is wickedly awesome. I think right now, it’s great that you can enjoy your kids and your home and you can work on your writing.

    But if you NEED something to do, why not find a wicked new hobby to learn about? Like…er…ummm…scrapbooking or.. er… bartending? Yes, I think bartending would be fun. Mix up a bunch of boozy deliciousness midday. Gold!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I was a bartender! Did I tell you that? I actually was a bartender while I went through nursing school. It was fun. Maybe I should start drinking now. Might help…

  • Jennifer says:

    Becky, when my son was a little guy this is what he told me: “Mom, when I grow up I want to be a train engineer, but if I can’t do that I want to be an artist; but if I can’t do that I want to be a doctor; but if I can’t do that I want to be an astronaut … and if I can’t do any of those things, I guess I’ll just get a job.”

    What I’m telling you is “having a job” is overrated. (Trust me on this, I have one). Enjoy your life doing what you love and you’ll make money doing it. If you want to study viruses, go for it. That’s very cool. You are also an excellent writer and the card idea is a good one. I can’t tell you how many times my daughter and I have talked about starting our own greeting card line because it’s so hard to find anything we like. There are a LOT of stupid cards out there and I’m sure we’re not the only ones who have noticed. I’m sure there are a lot of free images on the internet you could use but you can also take pics of your cat/dog/goldfish and other stuff. Have someone draw pics of viruses and bacteria for your cards — I can imagine the tag lines on those. Blah blah blah.

  • Wombat Central
    Twitter: wombatcentral
    says:

    Dear Aunt Becky,

    Does it help at all to know that I’ve only recently found your blog, yet you’ve already brightened my February?

    I second the vote for the Etsy store. That would provide much stuff-n-things to do while amusing the rest of us. Win-win, no?

    I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, either, and I’m older than you are. I do know that I don’t want to be a secretary. Did that. It sucked.

  • GingerB says:

    Honey, no one knows what they want to be. I like my career but I can count on one hand the others lawyers who will say that. Even three fingers. You will rock because you win at LIFE.

  • linlah says:

    I’m somewhere passed 50 and I still don’t know what kind of tree I want to be.

  • Oh I had super high aspirations as a child…Gas Station Attendant. GO ME!!!

  • Melissa says:

    My sister wanted to be a crossing guard.

    Me? I wanted to marry a hot guy and have his kids. Well I married the hot guy and he turned out to be a douchnozzle who liked to shoot his gun in the house and hit. And I cant have kids so that ended rather quickly.

    I AM a basically a secretary, though we dont call it that anymore lol. Sure, I do bookkeeping too. But it pays well, way above the median even for North Jersey, and there are a lot of people that wouldnt be able to handle my job or the people I support so I dont see where the hate on secretary’s is. I have a psychology degree, which is basically worthless if you dont go to college for more than 8 years. But it DOES help me handle the people I support I suppose.

  • Shelle says:

    I laughed at your phrase, “And because I’ve never been able to be very successful at anything that I’ve done besides sit at home and eat bon-bons…”. My husband asks me what I do all day besides sitting around doing nothing and eatting bon-bons. Yeah, like taking care of our 8-month old is a piece of cake :)

  • Bobbi says:

    I hate to point out the obvious but maybe if you’d stop hitting yourself in the head with a mallet the My Grains would stop. And yes, I was being snarky because that’s what I do best. (People call me a bitch like it’s a bad thing.) But really maybe I wasn’t because the stress of deciding what you want to be when you grow up can’t be helping your head. Take a class. You’re creative – make it something fun. It’s not career development, it’s relaxation and time away from the family. Cake decorating (they encourage the use of cake mixes even!), creative writing, cartooning, pottery, anything. I had 3 kids close to your kids’ ages and a weekly class saved my brain from exploding.

  • MamaCas says:

    Holy sweet jesus! You’re 7 years YOUNGER than me?! *sigh*

    And fyi…I fantasize every. single. day. about getting a “real” job. Only there’s 3 problems.

    1 – When do I have any fucking time for a job? I have 4 kids.

    2 – Who the fuck would take care of my kids? I have FOUR of them, ya know.

    3 – What the fuck kind of job would I get? Since I have FOUR kids sucking up all of my brain cells.

  • Beth says:

    I want to be a detective when I grow up. Just as soon as I get over my fear of blood. And dead bodies.

  • Amy says:

    I used to tell people that I wanted to be a marine biologist when I grew up. Mostly because I thought it meant that I could just hang out by the ocean all day and do basically nothing except watch whales all day.

  • So, seriously, can I talk you out of the PhD thing? I’m in (please, God, please) the final stages of mine and it’s freaking painful. Still, I can’t imagine doing anything else. Science is what I do.

    Anyhow, if you’re still interested in going back and doing the Science thing, you might be interested in doing some Science writing/editing stuff. It’s mostly freelance stuff (so that could work with your schedule) and it’d help you keep your hand in Science-y type stuff. It’d also help you get introduced to people doing the science you’re interested in. Chicago is probably a pretty good place for it, too, because there are a few colleges there (right?). I was thinking it might be right up your alley. Writing + Science = May Be Cool?

    • c8h10n4o2 says:

      I was going to suggest the same thing. Chicago has enough Universities and research institutions that there’s a big market and I’m getting into the final stages of my dissertation and my advisor LOVES me because I can write a coherent paragraph. It’s a rare skill in science, truly. I lucked out (?) because I got sidetracked between high school and college and showed up the first day and declared my major as Art History with a minor in Classical Studies after the school accepted my into molecular bio/virology. The result: I can write 20 pages about anything in no time at all. I proof for other people as a sideline and if labs want to translate technical papers to more mainstream press they usually hire out. Check out Technical Writing. A quick google shows online courses and certification.

  • Toni says:

    I’d totally interview – but I have zero readership at my blog. So you’d just be answering questions for me. :)

  • Keep writing. That’s what you should be doing; and your damn good at it.

    I’m in the same boat; still floating along trying to decide what to do next. Because *obviously* you and me and Case Management are NOT supposed to be what we do for the rest of our lives.

    But writing? I could do it* … And so could you.

    *Of course this means Hubby & I will be broke and living in the streets of Chicago; since I’m the sugar-momma …

  • pattypunker says:

    whatever you do, just don’t grow up. and don’t leave us. and yes i want to make out with you . . . hard!

    ps: your cards are going to make you fistwads of cash.

  • Wicked Shawn says:

    Bex, dahling, don’t fret over it, these life crises will ebb and flow throughout your time here. I am a few years older than you,(like 8, by my calculations, LOL) I have now found my true calling in life three different times. HA! Jokes on me, every time. Life is fluid, desires change, needs change, we change. I have come to enjoy the ride. My constant passions have always been painting and writing, they have also been my two biggest fears. I have an assload of paintings, as do my relatives and friends(their homes look like friggin art galleries) but I have never had the nerve to sell a single piece. I have story after story and a completed novel. It sits. I am a rebel, in a seriously chickenshit way. At least you are out there hawking your stuff girl, serious respect from me to you for that!! Seriously!!!

  • Brae says:

    Wow. You say everything I want to say all the time, just funnier and more eloquently.

  • Sue B says:

    If you want to be a virologist, start calling the places in your commute range that hire virologists. Find out what kind of virology they do, what their hiring practices are (BS ok? MA required? Phds only?) Do they only have unpaid internships or do they pay for your training work? Are there any places that hire part time or flex timers? Do they INSIST on VIR 559 or is it only a suggestion (or is it some lame assed old fashioned requirment that is 20 years out of date? (PS I made up the class but I bet there is something real that is similar.)
    And the big question: are you willing to move? Is Lilly a company that is your dreamland? Is there one closer than a 3 hour drive. What journals should you be reading? Does the company or department have a student training scholarship program? Does the university/college/JC nearby have a program you can start by taking one class a semester? Do they have childcare? Why is my typing so crappy tonight? (That’s my question of the day.)
    If you want to make it happen, make a plan and a timeline. Gather your information, list the steps and start checking them off. Decide where you are willing to compromise. Daycare – 1 afternoon a week while in school or 20 hours? Loans for the whole thing or take a couple of years and do it part time so you can pay for it/get scholarships.
    Don’t forget to make friends with & start haunting the web for virologists and where they hang out. That’s the network that will get you jobs, internships and scholarships. Good luck. Enjoy the butt kicking.

  • When I was 10, I remember everyone in my class being asked what they wanted to be when they grew up. I wanted to be a model, but I was afraid that everyone would laugh at me so I said I wanted to be a jockey…
    Go figure.

  • Kelly S says:

    Hi Aunt Becky! First of all, L.O.V.E your blog! If you want a TON of free graphics much like the ones you used check out http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/ – she posts new ones daily!!

  • SciFi Dad says:

    Would my Valentines get a section in this new e-card venture?

    Also, we’re going through similar discussions (albeit with less urgency) here. My wife is a teacher, and knows that she cannot go back to that career and be the kind of mother she wants to be, so she’s thinking about what she’ll do when she resumes work outside the home. It’s not easy. I hope you figure it out.

  • My day is ALSO surrounded by small people who poop their pants and teeth on my legs – but I DO work in an office with a supply closet and a helpless desk.

  • Tiffany says:

    Please Aunt Becky more cards…I totally would give those to lots of people. Your gift at Hallmarking is the envy of us all.

  • TeDiouS says:

    I have always had the same problem, even now. I am in my mid-thirties, and when anyone asks me what I DO, I’m all…”ummm, well…nothing, really.” or I change the subject and give a vague “hmmm? Sorry?” if they repeat the question.

    You at least have the satisfaction of being a mother and can say so. If motherhood is all you do in your life, it is a life to be proud of. I have lived on a disability paycheck since the pain of my condition forced me out of university. I would happily tell people I am a mom, that THAT is what i DO. I could tell people that, I suppose, but it would be a lie…

    It is somehow an embarrassing and shameful thing to not have an answer to the question of what you DO. It’s like they are asking what you ARE, and not having an answer means you’re nothing. Obviously. Almost everyone I know is defined by their job…and not having one leaves me very undefined in most peoples’ eyes. Only since moving to England to be with my fiance (marrying in nine days and counting!!!) have I been able to say “I am a homemaker”. Or “I am a housewife”.

    Now I just have to work on saying it with a straight face…

  • Miss Grace says:

    Dood. At least you KNOW. That’s more than I’ve got. I’m not really sure that I’ve ever been passionate about anything besides loving my kid and reading for pleasure. Oh and bubble baths. I’m a passionate bubble bather. And I like the feeling of sand squishing between my toes.

    Spin all that into a marketable career for me? I give you golden ticket virgin tin lady real professional quick real good.

  • Minnie says:

    I’m always amazed at your ability to present a “hard” topic and overload it with humor.

    Maybe that’s what you “do?”

  • Mikey D says:

    So that is supposed to mean that doing what you are doing now isn’t what you want to do when you grow up?

    I can offer you a nickle per post on my page!

  • Bluebird says:

    I am doing exactly what I answered in my 5th grade class. And I hate it! So I still moan about what I want to be when I grow up. . . but my DH doesn’t pay as much attention as yours :)

  • submom says:

    You are not alone. You know that from reading the comments left by your supporters here. I have a job and I still don’t know what the F I am doing with my life. I always joke that I am too old for teenage angst. But I do still have that angst. Actually it gets worse as I grow older… When I was young, I was surer of what I would be doing with my life… Sorry. This is not cheering you up is it? Well, the temp is above freezing today and this coming weekend!

  • mumma boo says:

    The cards, babe, work on the cards. And take a class. You need time for yourself. How’s about I pay you to come to Boston to have MY kid poop in his pants and teeth on your leg for a while?

  • I just wrote a post how I am guilty that although I love being a SAHM, I feel guilty taht I would like something a bit more, just for me. I know how important it is to be a good mom, but it’s really easy to get lost being you while makeing sure your a good mom. . .

    Sadly, I don’t have an answer, just empathy. And know that your talent as a writer has had a positive effect on so many of your readers.

  • Jen says:

    I’ve got your number — you want a PhD in virology so you can give us all herpes. Busted.

    I second the opinions above re: getting a PhD to go into science or medical writing. (You don’t have to get a PhD, but it confers a huge employment and pay advantage). I am a medical writer for Lilly and I get to work from home, which is plainly awesome. You get to use your science education, get paid pretty well, and in my case, work in your skivvies. Freelancing is pretty common, too. In a word: rocks.

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