The other day at work a couple of co-workers and I were talking about the show “So You Think You Can Dance?” Well, they were talking about it and I was listening because I don’t watch it. But the one woman mentioned how she took dance lessons when she was younger and in an alternate life would have pursued a dancing career. I mentioned in an alternate life I’d go the theater/acting route. But then I thought about it and realized, no, I’d probably go into astronomy with my goal set on working at NASA since space has fascinated me for a long time. I’ve been watching some shows about our travels to the moon (it’s the 40 year anniversary of mankind’s first landing) and the work NASA is doing so we can build habitats on the desolate rock. It’s intriguing and makes me wish I had been a tad bit stronger in the math and science disciplines.
In this life I was fine with physics and trigonometry but when it came to the higher levels of math I asked ‘why’ too much. One would have thought I would have known better since my middle school algebra teacher told me that was what my problem was, that I needed to stop asking ‘why’ and just do. So I did stop asking for awhile and did fine in my math courses, but then I went to college and that pesky question came back.
So, in my alternate life, I’d have the capacity to quit asking how one can work with imaginary numbers. (If they’re imaginary, they don’t exist, so how can one use them? Ha, ha.) And the math in my astronomy class wouldn’t have turned my stomach and I’d be working as an astronomer instead of dabbling in it as a hobbyist. I’d be one of those people finding new worlds and possibly new cultures, traveling into the dark recesses of the void beyond our atmosphere, developing new ways to live in space. I’d be on the cutting edge of the future and that would be cool indeed.
But then, a writing life isn’t so bad either. I’m one of those people creating new worlds and cultures. I can travel in my mind to new and exciting places and describe what I see to others. I can develop new techniques for living, languages, you name it, as a writer.
And I can ask ‘why’ all I want because in this life as an author it’s a must.
So, in your alternate life, what would you do?