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Me, but different.

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In my other life, I chose the small private college with more academic clout. I studied relentlessly, survived the internships and residencies, and now work in a small veterinary practice. My days are filled with the joy and pain of healing the fuzziest of fuzzy.
 
In my other life I did my father proud, completing numerous tours of duty and raising my family in the mentality of ‘Early is on time. On time is late. If you’re late…. Don’t be late.’. Strict discipline is backed by unmovable amounts of love. I am a formidable sight in uniform and my mind is challenged every day. My new family struggles with the required separations but I have my own childhood experiences to draw from. And I cherish the second my baby boys’ pudgy arms are around neck once again. History repeats.
 
In my other life, I have published novels. My stories are rife with self-deprecating humor and underlying springs of emotion. Being allowed to create is what I thrive upon. There are no anxiety ulcers over loan payments or whether there will be enough in the bank to buy food. Here, I have found my happy.
 
In my other life, I am an agent with an eye that misses no detail. I possess fear-inducing interrogation techniques and lethal aim with a standard issue. Bad guys don’t mess with me.
 
In my other life, I sit proudly in the back row of a major orchestra. My art has been perfected by the years spent alone in soundproof practice rooms. It’s meant enduring the years of schooling, and swallowing the accumulated doctor/lawyer-amounts of loan debt, but winning THE audition matters more.  I play because I love the art, not because every outside influence told me I should.
 
In this life, I spend my working hours far from my original academic intent but enjoy financial stability. It is unsettling, the idea of starting anew, but I choke on the thought of maintaining status quo. I know which life I want as much as I know which lives are simply not possible.
 
There should be no expiration date for reinvention. Maybe my ‘When I Grow Up’ is right around the corner.
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read to be read at yeahwrite.me

39 responses »

  1. Oh what a beautiful tale. In this life, I think you are wonderful.

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  2. Starting something new is scary, but it is always, always possible! Great post 🙂

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  3. Shades of Walter Mitty. But in a much more mentally stable way. 😉

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  4. Lovely post — so much fun to think about alternate realities, isn’t it?

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    • Especially when the brainstorming happens on the beach, listening to the waves crash in, cloud-gazing… completely at peace. This was fun to write.

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  5. Wow, awesome post. “Maybe my ‘When I Grow Up’ is right around the corner”. I love that. I feel like I still haven’t reached it. Most powerful line I’ve read today!!

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    • Carrie, you too?! Aren’t we supposed to have this all figured out by now? Ha!! So glad that line didn’t wind up being cut…it almost was. Whew!

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  6. Inspiring, beautifully written post. I loved it. Especially this line: “There should be no expiration date for reinvention.”

    So true. It is never too late to become the person you want to be — or at least start moving in that direction.

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  7. OMG, yes. I’m 34 and still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. Great post.

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  8. Here’s to throwing off the weight of “I ought to” and savoring the weight of “Because I loved it”. Cheers!

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  9. A few years ago, my mother was about to retire and said that she hadn’t really figured out what she wanted to be when grows up. Maybe we never do figure it out and just go with what we want to be right now.

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    • That thought has crossed my mind as well. To stop pondering over the next step, goal, hurdle, what-if…and just be. Accept that while it may not be what I imagined, it may still be ENOUGH. hmmmm….

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  10. I’m still waiting to get around the corner, too! I ended up working in a completely different field then my degree. It was the golden handcuffs! So hard to walk away!

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    • Oooh, intriguing. Would love to know your story too! Golden handcuffs…what a brilliant description! Good luck to both of us, then. I bet we can do it. 😉

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  11. Atta girl! I guess your brother left you alone long enough for you to produce this amazing post. So glad you posted. I was sort of breathless reading this and wondering what was happening. So good! You had me at the beginning. “The fuzziest of fuzzy.” So good.

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  12. Love the refrain “in my other life” and the way you resist melancholy; instead you give us a simple, elegant meditation on the possible and the probable.

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    • Honestly? I distinctly remember editing out the melancholy. I love that writing allows you the freedom to consciously choose the tone of your words. I decided this piece needed no darkness. I appreciate your acknowledgement… It tells me I edited well. Thank you for that.

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  13. I’m starting something new, too. I just don’t know what it is yet.

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  14. I love your sense of hope. My right now is filled with my kids but that underlying itch (and worry) of unfulfilled ambition is always there. I just have to keep telling myself that those days will come and when they do, the world will be open to me.

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  15. Wonderfully written! In this life, you are doing just great. So just live it 😉

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  16. cheers to living a full life! thank you for the inspiration. xo

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  17. sisterhoodofthesensiblemoms

    Well said! “There should be no expiration date for reinvention.” Lordy, I hope so. Ellen

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  18. Love this. I too, have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. Hopefully, I’ll never grow up but will just keep growing. It’s fun when the possibilities are endless!

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  19. This is really fabulous! I’ve never given my “other” lives much thought but it might be fun to try.

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  20. Peaches, (May I call you that?) it truly is never too late. I left the law, moved into academics and now, at 46? Writer. When the fear of the status quo overrides the fear of change, that’s when reinvention wins out.

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  21. Well said! The other lives, the possibilities, the thing that might have, could have been. And when you consider the things that still could be, it’s amazing, isn’t it? We must keep reinventing!

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  22. I dont believe in expiration dates, oftentimes, the person chooses to expire.

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  23. I love this sentiment. There’s no expiration date for re-invention. And I never want to grow up. Once at a wedding I was seated next to a 50 year old actuary who had been an actuary since he fulfilled his life long dream of becoming an actuary 25 years ago.He was really happy and I was really happy for him. We had absolutely nothing in common.

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