|By Wil Williams|
I never wanted to be a rodeo clown but it's the only profession I can think of in which I could wear an extremely large bow tie, overly baggy pants, red suspenders and work with really large, angry animals. What's not to love about that?
I didn't know what career I wanted to pursue until I was in my mid 20's. Part of the delay in that decision was a stint in the military. After three years of wearing various shades of green and some "overseas travel" in Southeast Asia, re-enlisting was one career option I crossed off my list. I think I broke my pencil doing so.
For a brief, fleeting moment, I may have considered becoming a lawyer. That moment was so brief and fleeting, though, I can't be sure it really happened. If it did occur, it was probably after an episode of LA Law, or Perry Mason, or Law & Order, or Rumpole of the Bailey, or Boston Legal, or Night Court. If I had gone to law school, I wonder which TV character I'd get to play?
Of course, my childhood career planning placed me in a giant set of shoulder pads and the grassed-stained jersey of a professional football team. Unfortunately my genetics planning placed me behind a career desk where I was not as likely to be blitzed into oblivion. Ditto on wearing a player's jersey on any of the world's 2,000 professional sports teams in baseball, hockey, basketball, Lacrosse, or soccer, or any of a number of sports yet to be invented. I just was not destined to perform under the bright lights. The last time I did anything under the bright lights was when I replaced two 100-watt bulbs over the bathroom sink.
You know, there should be a word to describe the distance between the idealized career path you selected for yourself as a child and the work path you actually took in life. This word would have to have more than three syllables so it would have gravitas. I plan to be working on this word until really late tonight.
In reality, I ended up working in an ad agency with corporate clients. My area was known as business-to-business marketing communications where there were few obscenely large bow ties or baggy pants. I did wear red suspenders on Thursdays, though. And once in a while, the clients became angry, especially some of the larger ones.
Although I enjoyed the business and creative challenges of the ad agency business, with some small measure of regret I never cradled the pigskin in my left arm and scored a 47-yard, pulse-pounding touchdown in front of thousands in the stands and millions on the tube. I never hit a three-run homer that won the seventh game of a championship series. Needless to add, I also never sank a three-pointer with two seconds to go. My one "accomplishment" on the basketball court was to receive 12 stitches over my left eye for being where no one of my size should have been - near the basket.
To be honest, my ad agency career was only a temporary posting while I determined what I wanted to be when I grew up. Why rush into something until I have all the facts? I plan to make my permanent career choice by the end of this year, maybe.
I understand that the market is heating up for qualified Teddy Bear Repair Technicians.
To comment on this column, email Wil Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.