Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.



When I was a girl, the only profession I desired was to be a veterinarian. I love animals of all sorts. I read books about animals, fiction and non-fiction. I know numerous breeds of dogs. I still watch Emergency Vets and Animal Cops when I have a chance to watch television. My desire to be a vet lasted for years, until I was 11 or 12 and my mom (a struggling, young, divorced mom with two kids) decided to give me a dose of reality. She said that 1) I'd better be prepared for animals to die on me when I was a vet and 2) that if I wanted to go to all that schooling I might as well become a doctor so I could at least make some decent money. I was a cliché, all little girls want to be veterinarians (and want ponies) right? What did I really want to do?

I stopped talking about being a vet.

I look back on that exchange and wonder if instead of getting a dose of reality ("Look, kid, we're poor and if you want to do something like go to veterinary school you're going to have a big struggle ahead of you because that dream is very expensive.") if I'd gotten encouragement, ("You've always loved animals and you're good with them. You're a good student. I'm sure you'd be a great veterinarian.") would I have actually done it?

In addition to loving animals, I've always been soft-hearted and wanted to help people. I bought into the love your neighbor, charity is your duty doctrines of Christianity, I fought school bullies, I worked in a nursing home in high school and was outraged at the lack of respect shown to the residents by most of the poorly educated, poorly paid aides. I started thinking about getting into nursing (doctor was, of course, lumped in as "unattainable" with veterinarian). Instead, I fell backwards into the game industry and in the end decided that ultimately I had no faith in the rewards of nursing. At that time nurses were being paid less and less, were being forced to work more hours and spend less time with each patient and I had no confidence that I'd actually be able to do that part of the job that I liked (helping people).

I stopped thinking about being a nurse.

When I was going through my divorce, I was so low I despised myself and saw nothing but pain and despair. I could not imagine there was anything out there I could contribute to, any job I could do including pumping gas or cleaning toilets that I'd be any good at. The last interest to slip away as I fell into my depression was cooking, and it was the first to reemerge when I began to recover. Two different times I looked into going to school for Culinary Arts, only to back away both times. Becoming a chef was impractical. Cooking was something that gave me joy, feeding people and seeing them happy pleased that part of me but it felt very much like "the only thing left" and in the end I decided I didn't want to sacrifice it on the chance that I wouldn't find that same pleasure and comfort in it when it was my job.

You can guess what I stopped doing.

I wonder how many possibilities I've needlessly passed up. I hope that I can do better for my daughter, for as long as she tells me she wants to be a zoo-keeper or whatever she decides she wants to be instead.


for this post

Blogger TS Says:

As long as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a writer.

I always figured that when you guys got tired of the game biz, you were going to open a restaurant and be a chef, Nik. ;)

Blogger Spike Y Jones Says:

I'm not a priest, I'm not an astronomer, I haven't figured out a way to make money at being a philosopher, I'm not an artist, and of late I haven't been much of a writer. But I'm good and comfortable as an editor; you can't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need.


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