Things I've been, have tried to be, or am:
-pastry chef (after Thing Three was born, I had this irrepressible urge to bake. And I did. I made, and perfected, a chocolate chip cookie that is to die for. I baked pies. Tarts. Cream puffs. Pastry topped with ganache. I learned how to make a flourless chocolate cake. Then I realized, two months post-baby, that it was mostly just hormones).
-brain surgeon (when I was 6, this was what I told everyone I was going to be).
-Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader (when I was 6, this is the other thing I told everyone I was going to be).
-Grateful Dead follower (as bad as it sounds. I lasted something like 6 weeks, maybe 4. It seemed much longer. Like years. Like a prison sentence).
-Auto claims secretary (gah)
-Auto claims adjuster by proxy* (which meant that I adjusted claims but was still a secretary because I did not have a degree. I saw many fatal accidents, several involving children, lots of horrible photographs. One of my jobs was to analyze the photos to attempt to figure out how accidents occurred and who was at fault. The photos...Jesus Christ, they did not pay me enough to do that job. Hence, only recently have Things One and Two gotten out of child safety seats. If the kids weren't so damn tall, they'd both still be in them).
-filmmaker (Not a terrible idea, but one that would have never worked for me, since I found no true joy in the process of filmmaking, only the end results).
-waitress/worker at pizza place (for years I worked at the best known local joint in the town I went to high school in. It was good, in a way. We had much fun, and drank wine coolers while closing every night. Once, I caught the back wall on fire. But that is another story).
-accounting clerk (for an insurance company, the same one I ended up working auto claims in. I ran payments through giant machines and configured them so they'd work correctly).
-cashier at Taco Bell (this was the year I lived in Angels Camp, a tiny town in California, perhaps best known as the home of the Calaveras Jumping Frog Contest. Or, perhaps, best known as the "tiny town between the Bay Area and ski resorts that everyone stops in to buy gas and fast food." Mark Twain's cabin was about 10 miles from the little trailer I lived in**. It was hardly kept up, which depressed me, even then).
-writer (I wrote my first story when I was 6*** about a chicken, named Potatoes, who saves her best friend, a pig named Hogwash, from being butchered. There were plot problems, as I recall. In particular, Potatoes made a paper mache pig filled with ketchup, though she lacked opposable thumbs. And hands. Or the ingredients to make paper mache).
-popular girl in high school (I tried, I must admit, for this title, and never truly won it. In part, because I don't have that look, but in part because I could not stop being snide, snarky, humorous. This is the job I have no regret ever getting).
-actress (at a young age, I took to the stage, which culminated in lots of children's and high school theater. I can't sing, though, so it was sometimes rough going. I earned my favorite part when I was 15, in a civic theater in the city I lived in. It was in "A Christmas Carol," and it wasn't a children's play. Rather, I had managed to garner a major role, and was the only sub-adult to do so. Who was I? The Ghost of Christmas Present).
-teacher (I used to think I would teach high school, but I don't think my tactics--ie, saying "What the fuck?" to students at times--would fly so well).
*while moving recently, I came by a set of David Bradley story critiques. I had forgotten the one that truly made me cry, the one he smacked on my first story I submitted in grad school. It read: "If you're going to write like this, you might as well go back and process fucking insurance claims." It hurt a little, even now. Mostly because he was right.
**yes, a trailer. A trailer with no running water and no insulation. A handmade trailer on 40 acres at the top of this hill overlooking the valley. Whenever I start a story with "Once, when I lived in Angels Camp," Friends One and Two perk up. This is because those are all stories of rural, foothill life in California which is almost too weird to believe. It's like living in a David Lynch movie. And I've told almost no one those stories. Sometimes, I think I should write them down. I probably will.
***I know, it was a big year. Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader and brain surgeon dreams, as well as the creation of narrative.