All I wanted to do when I got out of school was be a graphic designer, so in that respect, I’m pretty happy with my job. As I get older though, I wonder if perhaps I pursued that goal a bit too single-mindedly, too much to the exclusion of other career choices I could have made. I wanted to be a writer for a long time, and in self-indulgent moments — like when I’m writing these overlong and unnecessarily complicated blog posts — I still fantasize about renting a house in Saigon or Hanoi and writing a book. I also wonder sometimes if I should have pursued my adolescent goal of drawing comic books for real money, before id lost out to superego and I decided to pursue ostensibly more serious matters.
Lately, I’ve been mentally compiling a list of careers I might have pursued if I had the opportunity to magically return to, say, sixteen, and completely reconstruct myself from scratch. Almost all of these would strike anybody who knows me now to be pretty absurd, but here is an incomplete accounting of them: film director, television producer, comedian, professional baseball player, career officer in one of the military services, foreign correspondent for a cable news channel, Capitol Hill lobbyist, police officer. Some of these I take more seriously than others, of course, but for some of them, it wouldn’t be completely outside of the realm of possibility for me to suddenly take them up. But, here in my early thirties and deep into a job that is threatening to become my life’s work, I guess if I’m going to make a career change then the time is now.