Dream Careers And Tangents

11 Mar


All right, so.

As we all know by now, I’m currently finishing up my last semester of school and I’ve entered that paralyzing time where I’m wondering if everything I’ve done has been for naught, and if I will be even slightly employable in the next few months, and why this adulthood thing is so dang scary.

You know the time.

And so, as I reach this crossroads between school and real life and adulthood and more adulthood I am doing what I’ve always done at important times in my life—I’m turning to books to guide me.

In High Fidelity, one of my favorite novels by one of my favorite authors (yo, Nick Hornby, look me up!), the protagonist, Rob, is asked by his girlfriend what his dream careers are.  He’s given no stipulations.  These careers can be in any time period, can require skills he doesn’t have etc.  He just needs five.

And now for a tangent.  Recently my friends and I got around to discussing who our favorite living author is.  The “living” part really narrows this question down, and probably in a good way.  Who am I to decide between Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott?  Who am I to admit my #1 isn’t Shakespeare?  It’s like, my heart isn’t quite ready for that and neither is the internet.

The internet is ready to hear that my #1 living author of the moment is Helen Fielding, though, it’s decided.  Also that Nick Hornby in the clear #2 position.

So internet, now you know and now it’s back to High Fidelity.

In High Fidelity Rob comes up with five dream jobs, all of which are completely impossible/impractical.  For instance, one of his jobs is: Producer, Atlantic Records 1964-1971. (The book is set mid-1990s.)

These dream jobs make me think, hmm, fictional Rob, maybe you are the man for me.

Well, maybe you are the man for me if you up the impractical just another level.

Tangent round 2: my high school friends and I used to assign ourselves to everything–Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants characters, Kelly Clarkson songs, Nora Ephron protagonists, you name it.  A lot of our assigning came back to some basic qualities– who the “smart one” of the group was or the “nice one” or the “fun one.”

I think we did these assignments not because we weren’t nuanced individuals who were many things all at once (I am woman hear me roar!), but because on some level it’s nice to assign things.  It’s why the Buzzfeed quizzes are all over the place right now.

And, look, I get it, you’re too cool for school and too cool for Buzzfeed quizzes, but I find them quite fun.  I like knowing I’m PJ Harvey in the angry 90s girl lineup, all right? (That was actually a bad example since Fiona Apple wasn’t on the quiz so the results of that particular one are skewed and I am actually Fiona, but still.)

I like assigning things.

In high school my other friends seemed to fit more clearly into one identifiable role and I never quite did.  I was then given half labels and half characters, told I was “the dramatic one” or “the one that brings us all together” and while true, these statements were always a little bit off and I never quite knew my “thing” was.

Until recently.  I was actually taking a Buzzfeed quiz  (wow, Buzzfeed is really leading to some thoughts here and I apologize now because that’s just embarrassing) and one of the questions listed a whole bunch of adjectives that I had to choose from to describe myself.  I didn’t even have to think twice about it.  I knew I was “the dreamer.”

I was and am a dreamer.

Why didn’t I know that then?

I suppose that’s why Annie on Sleepless in Seattle is my Nora Ephron character, because you better believe I would hop on a plane right now and fly across the country for some crazy love possibility situation.  You better believe I want to be in love in a movie and that I dream in big ways and that it skews with my reality.

I am a dreamer.

So I guess Rob in High Fidelity calls to me in some ways.  He struggles being a grown up because I think sometimes it’s hard to be a grown up and a dreamer and I don’t really know the balance of it all yet.

And thus concludes tangent number two.

I’ve been reflecting on High Fidelity and my attraction for fictional Rob and all of that lately, and it has made me wonder what my own dream careers are.  If I could do anything in this world come May, what would I do?

If time/money/talents were not an issue, what would my (five) dream(s) be?

1. Full-time novelist

This is the dream, dream.  The Big Kahuna.  The if-I-could-do-anything-ever-ever-ever dream job.  I don’t have a specific time period for this dream.  I’m fine writing alongside Dorothy Parker or Louisa May Alcott.  I’m fine writing now.  I’m even fine if I’m not JK Rowling level, but just some random person you may have vaguely heard of.  As long as I can support myself, I dream of writing novels full time and I don’t think this dream will ever die.

In my spare time I imagine dedication pages to these novels.

I’m there in my mind already.

I’m so, so there.

2. Writer for Dawson’s Creek

I’ve always known it was my calling in life to write for a teen soap, but deciding which soap was mine was a toughie.  In the end I feel like my angsty teen voice would do best as a writer on Dawson’s Creek as opposed to say, The OC, or the original 90210.  This meant that I had to give up the dream of marrying Josh Schwartz (wooing him on the set of The OC, of course), but sacrifices must be made for the good of Joey and Pacey everywhere, people!  And maybe if I had been on Dawson’s, we could have recast Andie immediately and saved ourselves that heartache.

3. Owner of small-time bookstore a la Kathleen Kelly

I legitimately told a third grade girl recently that she must read Little Women immediately and she must read it with a box of tissues.  I’ve taken my wannabe Kathleen Kelly thing to a new level, and I’m only liking it, folks.  I’m only liking it.

4. Local librarian (in approximately 1960)

It’s very important in this scenario that I live in a teeny tiny town that has a lot of traditions and charm and that I wear big glasses and muumuus and recommend books no one in the town has heard of.  (This is feeling very Music Man and I don’t know if I should apologize or not.)  Also, this dream job feels very reminiscent of dream job #3, small bookstore owner, but I’m nothing if not single-minded.  And I’m nothing if not romantic.

5. Stevie Nicks


Annnnnnnd there you go.

Now it’s your turn.  What are your five dream careers?

I would so love to hear.

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7 Responses to “Dream Careers And Tangents”

  1. Michelle March 12, 2014 at 12:28 am #

    This post is awesome, you’re so funny. And by the way, LOVE that shirt you’re wearing in the photo! x Michelle

  2. Heidi March 13, 2014 at 6:56 am #

    I loved this post, and strangely enough (with the exception of Stevie Nicks), my dream job list would be almost identical, and though i love a good Joey and Pacey story, I think my teen soap would be One Tree Hill 🙂

  3. anna March 13, 2014 at 8:24 am #

    I’d agree with you on #1 and #3!
    Other tangents I’d go on would be working in theatre full time, fronting a band and maybe running a creative arts development centre.

  4. Rachel G March 18, 2014 at 3:36 am #

    My “most-realistic” dream job would be a full-time writer, though I would err more on the side of non-fiction than novelist. Less realistic…actress, starring in such epic movies at LOTR, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars, etc.

    • jillianlorraine March 18, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

      I like the less realistic. The less realistic the better.

  5. kayleigh March 20, 2014 at 8:10 am #

    I often dream about being a full time writer, having a room full of inspiration where I spend my days eventually decided that moving to Italy and renovating an old farm house is my purpose just like in Under the Tuscan Sun.

    • jillianlorraine March 20, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

      Under the Tuscan Sun wins the dream career game. So fabulous.

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