Friday, April 23, 2010


I posted a while back about my neighbor Robin and her amazing bullshit meter. Before that I posted about my interest in becoming a truck driver due to movies like SMOKY AND THE BANDIT and CONVOY. It was Robin who gave me the excellent advice that dissuaded me from pursuing those career paths. Over the next few years, I would present her with MANY new career ideas.

Of course, before all of this began, I distinctly remember when I was in elementary school, and living in Florida, that there were really only two career options for a young girl: teacher or nurse. That was what the other girls asked you if you wanted to be. Do you want to be a teacher or a nurse? Well, this was a no-brainer for me. I definitely wanted to be a teacher, because a nurse was out of the question. I remember sitting on the floor in my room and studying the bottoms of my feet. Just looking at the veins or arteries, or whatever those blue lines were, made me ill. I couldn't walk on my feet after that. If I had to go anywhere I had to do it on the sides of my feet, or I crawled around until the feeling passed. During health class, anytime the subject of blood came up, my hand fell asleep while I was taking notes. That was bad. My hand went numb and I quit writing so I could thump it against my chair. Sometimes I persevered but my writing was AWFUL. The only "C" I ever got was in Health and it was in the 5th grade. I think that there is a direct correlation to that bad grade and my inability to take notes whenever the subject matter went even remotely "bloody." I found the photo above here.

So, being a nurse was not an option.

Fast forward to junior high. I am trying on new careers every other week, or month, or whatever. This continues into high school. I am an avid reader, TV watcher, moviegoer. So, pretty much any time I watch or read anything gripping, that becomes my new career obsession. The other thing that "living" half my life at Robin's house did for me was turn me from a GENERAL HOSPITAL addict into a DAYS OF OUR LIVES addict. I know you were wondering how that happened, and now you know. Of course, that was back when DOL was good. In the summer of my junior high school days I was also an AS THE WORLD TURNS addict. Say what? Yes. I got reeled in by Betsy and Steve. Quit judging. Betsy was played by Meg Ryan. She was brilliant. You would have been reeled in, too.

Anyway, I career-hopped like mad and Robin never said a word. I think she was on to me. I saw FLASHDANCE and I suddenly wanted to be a dancer. Please. Of course, the TV show FAME had me on the hook for a long time. I wanted to be a rockstar. I wanted to be a singer. And I wanted to play every musical instrument, even though my mother forced me to practice piano daily. I just wanted it to "come it to me magically." Halfway through the book RAGE OF ANGELS, I was sure I wanted to be a lawyer. At the end, I definitely did NOT want to be a lawyer. Let's see... there was teacher (it did get back on my list again briefly), therapist, minister (not sure if that was before or after THE OUTSIDERS sermon, but I think after), writer, lawyer again (but not criminal law), and I know there were more. I suffered from indecision.

One day I said, "I have NO IDEA what I will be. Maybe the answer is just to marry someone rich."

Robin finally had something to say. "That is the stupidest thing you have ever said. It doesn't matter what you do, but do SOMETHING. If you want to be rich, if that is what is important to you, then you make it happen, but for the love of God, don't expect some man to support you. You support you. Other people let you down all the time. The only person you can rely on in this world is you." She had my attention. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.

She didn't say it exactly like that, but that was the gist. And, once again, she nailed it. And, in my own way, I nailed it, too. I didn't really want to be any of those things. I just wanted to pretend to be them for a little while. What I really wanted to be actress. Or a writer. I like the idea of trying on other people's lives and then shedding them. Of course, being a salesperson was okay, too, because it is kind of like acting, but that is another blog.

So, why didn't I move to Hollywood and try my luck? Well, I was always a bit too practical to do it. But, let's say I had thrown caution to the wind, I always knew one thing: I didn't want to be too famous. Even in high school I was aware of all of the crap that getting too famous does to your life, and I didn't want that. I think that it was Agatha Christie who said, "And for everything you love you have to pay a price." So, what would I have done? I would have wanted to be on a soap opera. A soap opera, you say? Yep. It's a steady gig with a loyal fan base and you're famous, but not too famous. You get to practice your craft and get paid to do what you love.

If you want a peek at this life that I would have chosen in an "alternate universe," you can click here to watch one of my all-time favorite scenes. Or you can just imagine me as a soap opera diva. That works for me, too.


  1. okay, confession time!
    I am a huge steve and kayla fan...if you watched dool then you know who I refer to, unless it was before your time. It was before mine..but one day while surfing through youtube I found them and have been hooked ever since.
    They are the best couple. I love jason and robin too...(the stone story line killed me for personal reasons) but my fav. couple on that soap was sonny and brenda..anywhoozle...a few links for steve and kayla...too good to me on this.

    and...holy crow, this will melt

    A steve and kayla fan...

  2. I'm still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up too...

    What I've always wanted to do...NOTHING! To just relax and sleep and go on holidays...

  3. Oh, Robin! I love this blog. I had a secret desire to be a nurse when I was growing up; well, it was more like up until the age of 13, maybe 14. After that, and I have no idea why, I wanted to do the job I do now: Human Resources. I think that the vast majority of people when they are growing up have no idea what they want to do for a living, but I was so sure. Strange, I guess!

  4. Screw practicality (I did!). Do what you love and either the money will follow or it won't matter because loving your life is the greatest wealth there is. :)


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