My alternate lives

One thing I realized while wedding planning, that I later realized could be applied to my entire life, was the idea that there are many paths to follow. We can only choose one path, obviously, and even though you didn’t pick one of the other paths, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have been a great option. I originally had this thought (truly light-bulb style) while lamenting the fact that I couldn’t just wear ALL THE DRESSES. (I mean, why not right? I could have one for my entrance and then a mid-ceremony dress change and then a reception dress and perhaps a mid-reception dress change and maybe a rehearsal dress and a post-reception dress and lace on tulle on sequins WOO!)

Ahem, of course, once I made peace with the fact that I could not wear all the dresses and instead had to pick just one that maybe wasn’t THE dress, but a wonderful dress nonetheless, this thought process applied itself to other aspects of wedding planning. We obviously couldn’t have a small, intimate backyard wedding while also having a large, glamorous black-tie affair. We couldn’t do a destination wedding that also happened to be at my grandparents’ house. We couldn’t do ALL THE IDEAS, just like I couldn’t wear ALL THE DRESSES. We had to pick one and perhaps give a little wave to the other ideas, because they were great too, but they were not the idea we went with.

(I’m making it seem like I had a lot of wedding planning angst here…. I did not. I was mostly just sad I couldn’t wear all the wedding dresses.)

SO ANYWAY – I swear I have a point that I’m getting to: In life, we have to choose a path. It might not be THE path, but it’s a pretty good path (I mean, hopefully, gah). We make decisions about where we live and what we do for a living and we’re deciding our path as we go. Naturally, there are things that fall by the wayside as we decide our path. I do not live in DC because …. I don’t live in DC. Not saying I wouldn’t enjoy living there or that it’s not for me; I just don’t live in DC because I live in Texas and it never occurred to me to move out of state. You catch my drift?

Same goes with careers. We all eventually find ourselves working. For the majority of us, our job is just that – a job. A means to earn money to pay for our living expenses. Bonus points if you don’t hate it. Gold star if you actually enjoy it. I’m an accountant because I very logically decided to be an accountant. It doesn’t rely on my body (which will probably give out much earlier than my brain), it has a fair amount of job security (the world will always need accountants), and it pays more than peanuts. However, there are several career paths I could have chosen, had I not decided to follow my logical brain:

Bakery Girl Belle: I love to bake and I’m fairly good at it (if I do say so myself). I could totally see myself working in a bakery (as opposed to running it, which is a totally different career/life). This Belle might not have left West Texas as there are plenty of bakeries there (even fancier ones!), but I might have eventually still made my way to DFW. My days would be filled with sugar and fondant and pastry cream. I would use my eye for detail to painstakingly ice a thousand cookies or frost dozens of cupcakes. My artistry would probably need some improving (stick figures are pretty much my highest level of expertise), but I could always handle the trace/repeat designs. I might also be a solid ten pounds heavier in this life, because who can resist all those scrumptious sweets? My feet would be sore and my back would ache by the end of the day, but I would be making the world a better place through the power of sugar!

Professional Dancer Belle: I took dance lessons from the age of 5 all the way up to 23 – nearly two decades worth of lessons and rehearsals and recitals. I ultimately decided against a career in dance because (1) it takes a lot of work, (2) no, more work than that, (3) the pay isn’t great (might even be non-existent), (4) it relies on my body, so if that goes, I’m out of a job, and (5) very little job stability. I probably couldn’t have made this profession work in West Texas. I might have had more luck in DFW, but I probably would have landed somewhere like LA, New York, or Vegas. However, if I had gone this route, I would be very fulfilled with days full of rehearsals and perhaps an audition or two. I have always loved to perform and would be ecstatic that part of my job description included regular performances.

Food Blogger Belle: The PERFECT career. Food + blog + stay-at-home + baking + cooking = AWESOMENESS. Seriously guys, I would leave my current job in a heartbeat if only I could (a) take better pictures than I do (as evidenced by the hundreds of blurry shots of Jas on my phone) and (b) not have to suffer through the start-up phase of food blogging. That wouldn’t be fun. So, basically I want none of the hard work that goes into setting yourself up for success, but I do want to reap all of the rewards. Sounds about right.

Veterinarian Belle: Oh you know I had to put this on here, right? What self-respecting animal lover has NOT thought about days spent squeeing over puppies and kittens? But then, there’s always that moment of heartbreak when you consider everything else that goes into being a veterinarian (handling sick animals, not being able to instantly make sick animals better because oh my gosh he just looks so sad poor wittle baby) and we change our minds. Probably for the best.

Fitness Instructor Belle: So I know that I am technically a fitness instructor now, but if I had my way (basically, if money was no problem) I would be a full-time instructor. I would LOVE for fitness to be my profession. I love helping others achieve their fitness goals and I love teaching classes (my current program, obviously, but also kickboxing and step and BOSU and water aerobics and barre and yoga and I COULD TEACH THEM ALL). I’m still holding on to this one for my post-professional life (aka, when Luffy and I are financially independent and I can do whatever I want for a living).

So yeah, those are some of the life paths that I could have chosen, but didn’t. Kind of fun to think about.

*And now that I’ve written all this down, I realized that a much better way to introduce this topic would have been what Barbie do I want to be????  Ballet Barbie? Blogger Barbie? Baker Barbie? Vet Barbie? Now I’m just picturing the outfits and cute little accessories….