When I graduated from high school, my goal was to go to vocational school and learn to be a hair dresser. I wanted to cut hair for a living.
Because I am me, I put off registering until the last minute. I couldn’t get into the hair dressing class because it was full. Data processing, however, was wide open.
My career path was decided. I would take the class that still had open slots.
33 years later and I often wonder if I wouldn’t have been happier in life if I had just registered for school a little sooner. Or, you know, put some thought into my future.
I didn’t though and I am where I am.
I used to say I had two choices. I could either program computers or wait tables. Those are the only two things I know how to do. My choices have grown narrower now that I’m older. I don’t know that I have the stamina to wait tables any more.
It’s not that I have anything against I.T. Except, that it’s stressful. Pretty sure going into I.T. is a terrible career choice for the chronically anxious. Still, no degree and my experience is divided between data entry, waiting tables and writing code. Those are some limited options.
I want to feel more peace if my life and part of that peace means I still have to pay my bills.
I’ve been thinking about becoming a life coach. I can tell people what to do. I can shout positive affirmations at a person in exchange for money. I am only assuming that is what a life coach does. The coaches I’ve seen always seem to be shouting.
Couple issues with this plan. First of all, I cannot spell “coach” without spelling it “couch” first.
Secondly, I am not all that good at life. Unless we are talking about eating Life cereal. I excel at that.
I suppose I could approach my career as a life couch from the “cautionary tale” angle.
I could teach people how to live better lives by example. My bad examples. I can call my service “For fuck’s sake, don’t do what I did”.
I am going to be rich.
Here’s a sample of the life lessons I will teach you.
- There is a magical time in a girl’s life. That stretch of days between the time the invitations are sent and the wedding takes place. If your fiance cheats on you during that time, then for all that is holy, don’t fucking marry him. Big mistake. If you don’t heed this advice, then it’s possible he will cheat on you while you are pregnant. He also might give you crabs. While you are pregnant. Then, when you leave him, it is possible you will find yourself on a city bus early in the morning with a girl named Donna. You never liked Donna. Donna was always a bit of a cunt. Donna might take great pleasure in telling you how she slept with your ex while you were still married to him.
- If you’ve reached the age where hip breakage has become a consideration, then do not wear rubber flip flops to the movies. The floors are shiny, hard, and become very slippery when someone spills shit on them. If you wear rubber shoes to the movies, you might find yourself going ass over tea kettle in a hail of popcorn, soda, and ice. No way are you going to enjoy the new Melissa McCarthy movie if your underwear are warm and damp with soda.
- If you have a job and are continuously treated with disrespect, then leave that fucking job. Get a different job. It doesn’t matter if you will have to downsize your living space or give up your expensive makeup habit. Leave that job. For example, if you have a job where you are denigrated because you are female, then Leave. That. Fucking. Job.
- Don’t let life pass you by because you are afraid. Until someone can prove otherwise, then I believe that we get this one go around. That time is so terrifyingly short. Don’t fucking waste it because you are afraid you will fail or because you are afraid of what other people think. Then, after you master that, tell me how you did it because damn.
You know, I don’t have to approach this entirely from a “what not to do” place. I do have advice I am confident in that come from times when I got shit right.
- When you find someone to spend your life with, don’t settle if you aren’t happy. You deserve to be treated well. Also, don’t put too much stock in the package other people come in. You know what goes a long way? Nice. Nice goes a long fucking way.
- Acknowledge that you are not perfect. Accept that you’ve done some shitty things. Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself in a way that there is no room to be ashamed of your past anymore. Because I promise you this, everyone has a fucking past. Sure, some might be more “colorful” than others, but everyone has a fucking past.
Okay, I think that’s enough for free. I need to put this together and take it out on the road.
Or, maybe I’ll just have a few cocktails this weekend. That sounds equally attractive and like a lot less work.
I might need to work on that name a little bit as well. “For fuck’s sake, don’t do what I did” doesn’t flow.
Photo courtesy of Geralt Altman.