I’m half way through my maternity leave. MiniDivo is doing great, and the rest of us are also happily adjusting to the “new normal.”
Being away from my job gives me a chance to daydream. Believe you me I am not daydreaming about being home permanently with kids. That life is not for me. But there are several other careers I can imagine having had in another life. Not like “movie star” or “olympian” but actual normal jobs that normal people have that I know some other Sheryl in some other universe is doing right now.
1. Traffic Engineer. Being out and about in the city all day, I get to see a lot of traffic flow and intersections. The best intersection is the one at Cambridge St and Mass Ave in Harvard Square where the left lane can turn right and the right lane can turn left. I find that intersection completely aesthetically awesome and clever. I also can tell you about all sorts of walk signs that blink at the wrong time (false negatives, not false positives, but still). I actually know a friend of a friend who has this job and I swear I’d love it.
2. Forensic Accountant. There is no part of me that could be a detective or a police officer or even a crime lab tech. But I could totally hunt through hundreds of pages (screens?) of financial data to track what happened to different transactions and where the money went. The idea that the answer is there but someone has to find it is so appealing to me. I’d be great at finding anomalies and missing money.
3. Math Teacher. When I was in high school, my friends all though I was going to become a math teacher. I love explaining how things work and teaching people how to figure it out themselves. (I had a pretty good tutoring run in high school.) I loved math – and I was lazy. I used to derive the quadratic formula during exams rather than memorize it.
4. PhD in Theoretical Computer Science. I’m not saying that I could have gotten in to a PhD program or that I would have finished it, but I am saying that for the final exam in my theoretical computer science class in college I finished in 25 minutes when everyone else took 3 hours. I figured that I either totally got it or totally blew it. It was the former. Figuring out how a Turing machine would process a certain problem or how to reduce different problems to be like (or unlike) Traveling Salesperson was just a logical extension of the brain teasers I had been doing my entire childhood. I may have been the only person who thought that class was “fun.”
Never fear, I’m not jumping off the Product Marketing ship anytime soon. Just doing some daydreaming. As Gavin DeGraw sings, “I don’t want to be anything other than me.”