When I was at school, like everyone else, I had hopes and dreams of achieving great things in the world, and although I’m now a reasonably happy and well-adjusted chap in my fifties, I never managed to get that wonder-job that I really wanted. At various times in my early years, I harboured ambitions about working in various glamorous locations, but they never materialised. Here are five of the roles I considered.
Despite not gaining (or even working towards) any qualifications that would have given me a career in journalism, I daydreamed about joining Led Zeppelin on the road and documenting their travels across the western seaboard of the USA. Or failing that, interviewing David Bowie in a dark and forbidding Berlin nightclub. As my ambitions lessened, I would even have settled for a quick chat over coffee and bacon rolls with Hall and Oates, but in the end my notebook remained unused.
Several of my friends wanted to be train drivers or airline pilots when we were young, but this wasn’t a dream of mine at all. Instead, I saw myself at the controls of a helicopter, because the noisy rotor blades and open cockpit seemed somehow more glamorous. I envisaged a hectic schedule that involved ferrying Formula One drivers to the pit lane at Monte Carlo on the weekends and rescuing injured spies from behind enemy lines every Monday morning.
Although I had no talent for poetry whatsoever, I had secret dreams about moving to a tiny bedsit on the French Riviera and eking out an existence as a brilliant, but flawed, poetic genius. I wanted to be sullen and moody, and unreasonably rude to anyone who complimented me on my latest anthology, but it didn’t happen. I once called my maths teacher an unpleasant name during a disagreement about algebra, but that was as far as my surliness went.
I saw myself as a great marathon runner, who would wear down the opposition one by one with a mixture of sudden bursts of speed and the occasional intimidating bout of trash talk as I ran past. For me, the glory of winning a gold medal would have been overshadowed by the fact that I had psychologically crushed my rivals, turning them into gibbering wrecks who would be unable to ever compete with me again. The fact that I couldn’t even run for a bus seemed immaterial at the time.
Although I had no ambitions to join the army, I quite liked the idea of being a top general with a chest full of medals and a cool pair of sunglasses. Perhaps I thought the recruiters would simply fast-track me to the top of the ladder with little or no need for training or for ascending through the ranks. I had this vision of parading through the streets of a recently liberated capital city as the grateful locals screamed their appreciation. Ahh, memories.
David Showell is from the UK and has had several jobs over the years. He now works for a Barcelona Airport car rental company.