Growing up, I wanted to be a professional baseball player because I thought that I was really good at the game. I loved being outdoors and enjoying the warm weather and sunshine. I was a decent pitcher and an average hitter.
As I got older, I realized that other kids were growing stronger and faster than I was. I played through high school and never hit a home run. I was a contact hitter but that made me absolutely mediocre compared to guys that were able to crush the ball. That marked the end of my aspirations to be a professional baseball player.
I thought seriously about becoming a fireman because one of my best friend’s father was a fireman. The normal childhood dreams of riding around town in the big red fire truck were intoxicating. I know that this was a dream of many of the kids I grew up with in a small town. Ironically it was a fire at our house that stopped the desire to be a fireman after seeing all the damage and thinking that I wasn’t cut out to be dealing with that type of stuff on a regular basis.
Because I was born in the 1960s I thought about becoming an astronaut. Once again it was a generational thing that appealed to everyone my age. The intense math and science brought me back to reality and ended that dream.
I thought about becoming an actor for a time. I always enjoyed being the center of attention and I was never shy. My parents weren’t keen on the idea because they wanted me to live in the real world as much as possible. The other thing that killed the desire to act was I never thought of myself as attractive, and I still believe that all cameras are out to embarrass me at all times.
I wanted to be a teacher because I really loved to learn and to share with others. It was later in life when I decided that I wasn’t really cut out to be around children all of the time. I was raised by very progressive parents and was always considered mature for my age. I had a wonderful childhood, but it was not as carefree as some of my friends. I was always taught to think of others and the world around me rather than always just myself. Later in life, I found that teaching adults is something that I am rather goods at.
Now I work with data mining and analysis. I pull patterns and predict future behavior of information for the client. I measure changes and trends. I model data to demonstrate to the client where they should focus their efforts to improve their productivity and responsiveness. I do have the opportunity to train/teach others on my job, and it gives me tremendous pleasure to do so. This is not where I would have predicted that I would end up, but I find that very few people actually do end up in their dream job that they visualized when they were children.
Life is about adapting to change and making the best decisions that you can each and every day. Make the best of what life throws at you and remember that nothing is preordained.