Tuesday, August 14, 2007

what if we're still doing this when we're fifty?


When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I collected shells, I labeled them, kept them filed, read every book about the ocean I could get my hands on... While other girls were laced up in toe shoes and learning ballet, I was knee deep in stagnant water trying to catch bull frog tadpoles. All of this has led to a plethora of unusual information that pops out at parties sometimes.

"Speaking of beach vacations, did you know that ambergris, one of the most sought after substances in the world, is actually semi-digested Giant Squid excreted by a Sperm Whale?"

"..."

I did mention being socially awkward, did I not?

Aside from spouting off sea facts after a few drinks, all of that marine-obsession did not lead to a degree in Marine Sciences. I got into biology in high school, couldn't bear dissecting a fetal pig, and that spelled the end of my ambitions.

Fortunately, about that time, I realized that I could write a pretty decent story. And that I was kind of funny. Since I was far too much of a realist to consider making a decent living as a comic, I poured all that unrequited science love into my English classes (evidently still enough of an idealist to believe that I could, in fact, make a living writing bestsellers). No pigs to dissect, only the works of (mostly dead) authors. Easy peasy. I liked it. A lot.

I still do. I was reminded of this today after getting some freelance work from one of my favorite clients.


I mean, yeah, I'm not in the running for any Pulitzers with this work, but damn it's fun. Trust me, if someone had told me when I was seven that I could stay that age forever and get paid for it, my career path would have been diverted years ago. I remember when I interviewed for them, they asked me if I was familiar with SpongeBob SquarePants. I immediately and unabashedly launched into the theme song, complete with the pirate accent.


I love what I do. Isn't that the luckiest thing in the world?

6 comments:

peaknits said...

The fetal pig in freshman year zoology nearly killed me - ack! But to like what you do is priceless - love that you broke into song, Spongebob rocks - I was just thinking about Gary today at work - don't ask:)

Knitserland said...

You are so lucky to love your work, not many people can say that!

"Whoooooooooo, lives in a pineapple under the sea?" - now you've got me singing it! :)

Knitterella said...

For a short time when I was little I wanted to be a marine biologist too. I read up on shark books for some reason and every now I then I can spout off weird facts as well, weird…

Hey, how long have you worked for Kellogg? I once interviewed there for a graphic design job (probably 2001) - didn't get the job but I got the tour of the place, pretty cool!

Those who love what they do are very blessed!
Jill

Chel said...

You have my dream job :)

I miss you on the boards! I saw that you're busy at work for now, but I look foward to when you have time to post again! Just wanted you to know you're missed!

Chel said...

I saw this and thought of you
http://www.cafepress.com/knitty.23378131

knittin gin said...

Semi-digested giant squid - socially awkward? You'd fit right in with most of my closest friends, and there's not a single marine biologist in the lot. A little quirkiness can be interesting. If you've ever thought of combining your interests you should check this out: http://www.poormojo.org/cgi-bin/gennie.pl?Squid+232+bi.

And props for singing the SBSP theme song with the pirate accent.