Work identity


 Considering who you wanted to  be   Firefighter, logger, archeologist, mad scientist, doctor, model, nurse, actor, fisherman, prime minister, teacher.  "What do you want to be when you grow up?" The encouragement of grade one ambitions most likely thwarted by bad luck or practical considerations once coddling questions disappeared. The confidence of direction that allowed you at the age of three to proudly tell everyone you would be a singer in a restaurant when you grew up, because the sagging dinner act during a trip to San Francisco was the most glamorous thing you had ever seen and no one could shake the stars from your eyes. If you really can be whatever you want, why not a  diner's companion in a smoky pasta bar? Seemed as good as anything, until you saw Dennis Lee reading from Alligator Pie at the public library and came home believing you could easily fill scribblers full of rhymes like his (He's never locked in the zoo. He lives in a warm igloo.) and attempted to do just that. Which lasted until the time mother took a university course, came home talking about the pygmy tribes of Africa with her copy of The Forest People in hand, and anthropology entered your vocabulary. Study other people in far away places. Like archeology without the bones and dirt? Tried it on for awhile if only because it sounded impressive. (Every kid wants to dig up dinosaurs, few want to study cultures.) But then they always said you were a good arguer ! and People's Court was your favourite show so you started watching every television court drama in preparation for becoming a lawyer. Perry Mason was dated, but everyone listened to him. Your parents let you watch tv because it was career research. Which carried you through to your first job, the drive-through window of the local A&W. Getting stoned before or after work and wondering if what you wanted ended here. And was it enough?

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