Five (Imaginary) Professions I Wish I Had
When I was an inspired 10-year-old, I looked forward to being an adult the same way a dog might fruitlessly beg for another treat. I enjoyed planning a grandiose future filled with grown-up responsibilities and grown-up problems – the playground was for kids, and I thought of myself as something else. There was never more than one logical path for me to follow, and it had to be the right one. The other option was winding up dead, as in a Goosebumps “Choose Your Own Adventure” book, and no one ever wants that to happen to them.
One of the main discerning elements of “adulthood,” or just growing old enough to be perceived as an “adult,” is how our minds try to recapture what we had tried so hard to shed in the past. When I catch myself slipping into a daydream, typically during evenings spent riding hellish public transport, the reveries are no longer about meticulously planning ahead, but instead, they are short-lived bouts of escapism. It’s what humans do to cope, and in some corner of my brain, the thought of these imaginary “professions” keeps me weirdly calm about the world.
Maybe these professions existed in a parallel universe, where every individual’s pipe dreams can be fulfilled with a zero chance of failure (100% satisfaction guaranteed it’ll say in the small print). Take note, whoever’s watching from the nth dimension. I’ll offer top dollar from my (non) savings to make these happen.
5. 20-something year old retiree
My inner hermit self is perpetually jealous of the seemingly mysterious lives that 70-year-old retirees lead. I’m less jealous less so about the onslaught of wrinkles and the chore of ingesting vitamins, medicine, and laxatives that inevitably comes with old age. I feel like I’m not informed enough to make an accurate judgment about what retirees get up to in their spare time because they’re part of an elite “I’ve Won Life” club that I know nothing about. But if stereotypes are anything to go by, then indulging in a meal of vegetables mashed into pulp, attending Thursday bingo nights and relaxing on cruises with free all-you-can-eat buffets seems pretty sweet to me.
4. The 4th member of Sadboys
This particular girl has shed many a tear over Gatorade sippin’, bucket hat wearin’ teen rapper, Yung Lean and his fellow producer buddies, Yung Gud/Sherman. Maybe if I provided them with enough Arizona Iced Tea to drown a moderately sized elephant in, I would be accepted into the trio of emotional boys. In the meantime, until unreality kicks in, I’ll probably have to say RIP to my 2014 delusions and go start a project on Kickstarter to fund my blossoming Snapchat rap career instead.
3. Manufacturer of dreams/nightmares for humans to purchase at will
In aisle 8 of Woolworths, on the top shelf between the shampoo and the Band-Aids, there’ll be a small section labelled “dreams,” each product boxed in luminescent silver and printed with a short description blurb in 8pt sans-serif font. $15 dollars each, one use only. I’ll provide temporary contentment via clichéd dreams of dead Hollywood movie stars, heart shaped pizza, the warmth of a doona on a wintery morning, and, maybe, even the dreams that occupy my time, those of professions that don’t yet exist outside of my mind. However, I guess I could also haunt your REM sleep with thousands of duplicate images of all the horrible selfies I’ve taken in the past 18 years of my life, complete with a soundtrack of your own droning voice.
2. Full-time karaoke singer in an underground Tokyo lair
My soul-crushing desire to be consumed by neon lights and drunken renditions of Outkast’s greatest hits reaches its average peak at approximately 3am every night, where I’m now, sitting and typing this in my dark bedroom, in Sydney’s suburbia. There’s something immensely appealing about spending the night with a bunch of strangers in Shibuya’s timeless warp. Something tells me that my subpar vocal skills will lead to a relatively short-lived career, but I’d rather lock those thoughts away so I can be transported to my Lost in Translation fantasy, if only for a while.
1. All Knowing Sentient Being
I’ll have a verified Twitter account which posts answers regarding time, death, the size of the universe and how many calories are in the piece of cake you’re currently eating, but not one of my paltry 100 million followers will comprehend because it’s too troubling to process. Existence on a higher astral plane is hard, yo.
By Amelia Zhou