And that's it. It's not even as though this list is my top five, either: there isn't a number six or seven that I had to omit because of the limitations of the exercise. To be honest, I'm not even that bothered about being an architect - I just thought that if I failed to come up with five, it would look a bit feeble.
I'd made a Rob Fleming job list after one of the therapy appointments I went to back in the fall when I was feeling particularly unwell.
2. Gallery Owner
4. Crane Operator
5. Pilot Guide
I thought I was in therapy to talk about my ruined marriage and how I was going to forward in life without being entirely screwed up by it, but we talked about a lot of other things I'd never intended to talk about. Like, assuming there were no obstacles in the way like, education, training or money, what would I want to do with my life? I made the list, then dismissed it immediately. I didn't exactly think it was frivolous, but I did think everything about it was impossible.
Then, one recent day, The Egyptian had asked, "What would you do?" I said what I would like to do if it weren't an insane idea, and he said, as if it were the simplest thing in the world, "So do that."
I know for sure I looked at him agape, possibly as if he had ten heads. But The Egyptian always backs up his words, and he relayed a story that began, "I know how you are feeling. You think you are too old to change your life ..." and at that moment the list, the conversations I'd had in therapy and this real life story I was being told collided, hard.
"I just had to try anything," the story ended, "and because of that class I got this. You don't know where these things will take you."
I thought a lot about all of this over the next few weeks. I thought about how I stayed at my job so many years because I was on a certain path, and I thought about how I am not on that path anymore. How if ever there was a time in my life to truly embrace change, to "try anything" instead of wondering what could happen if I tried, there is no excuse not to do it right this minute before I am entangled in marriage and kids again. The Egyptian is entirely right: You DON'T know where something is going to lead you unless you get up the damn balls to do it.
I am reticient and I am terrified but I'm now a student.