I don’t recall ever being asked that question, which is probably good because I would not have had an answer. As a child I never had any career aspirations like most kids might have. No “I want to be a policeman” or a fire fighter, a teacher, an armyman, an astronaut … all the typical responses kids give. There was never one thing that stood out for me as something I wanted to do when I “grew up.” I like to think I arrived at my current occupation as a process of elimination:
Well, I must need to do something with this English stuff then.
The one requirement I had was that I wanted to
like love whatever I did. Specifically, I wanted a job that I wanted to go to every day. I was realistic — I knew I wouldn’t want to go every day, but my ideal was a job that I enjoyed enough that I didn’t complain about going and more often than not I wanted to go to work. I don’t recall any specific event leading me to this goal, but I think it was just seeing people so negative about their jobs and always griping about what they did to the point where they dreaded going to work.
I’ve been blessed that in the half a dozen or so jobs I’ve had over the last 10 years I’ve felt that way. Each job had its challenges, both with the assigned tasks and getting along with others, but as a whole I am proud of the jobs I’ve held and speak positively about them if ever given the opportunity.
That said, I am also so glad tomorrow is Friday. (I’d be even more glad if I wasn’t working on Saturday but it’s just a few hours.) As soon as the thought “TGIF” came to my mind I instantly felt a little guilty about it because I wondered if that meant I had failed at reaching my goal: Is the fact that I’m glad about the end of the workweek mean I’m not happy in my job? I don’t think so. My TGIF celebration has nothing to do with my job — I love talking to students and writing about cool NASA stuff — I just also love the days I get to sleep in (even if it’s just 30 minutes), slow down, play with the boys, and just enjoy life.