Dear Future Leslee,
I often wonder what it is you do for a living. I can only assume it’s something that involves a lot of lounging and musing and making derogatory observations about people’s personal shortcomings, because damn but that is what I am good at. I also assume you don’t work very hard, because I have no interest in working very hard and I doubt things have changed much in twenty years.
Still, remember when we were little? I had all kinds of dreams and ambitions back then. After-school specials had taught me that if I believed in myself, I could achieve anything, and god bless my stupid face, I bought it. Well, they say there’s one born every minute.
The first thing I seriously considered being was a baker. What kid didn’t? I liked cakes and cookies, so what could be more perfect than baking? In my imagination I assumed that I would bake all day, eat all night, rinse, repeat, and it sounded idyllic. Actually, it still sounds idyllic, except I don’t have that kind of patience. Baking takes a long motherfucking time, which I’m okay with on holidays and stuff, but every day? No thank you.
I also remember that I wanted to be a criminal profiler, back when I was about ten or eleven. I was totally enamored with various TV and movie red-heads at the time, and it seemed more likely that I could get a job catching serial killers than captaining a starship or being a mermaid. The psychology of it was totally fascinating, but I soon came to realize that thinking about the terrible things that people did to each other every day would turn me into a bitter and twisted young woman. Sure, that was bound to happen anyway, but no need to exacerbate the process by seeking out depressing material.
After I realized that evil people would make me hate the world, but before I lost my fascination with the human mind, I considered a career as a psychologist. The way people think is pretty neat, but I soon realized that most people have petty, unimportant problems and that listening to them complain for eight hours a day would make me go stark raving mad. Despite a moderate ability to empathize, my solution to life’s problems are generally some variation on “walk it off”, and I doubt anyone is going to pay me a hundred plus dollars per hour to tell them to suck it up, pudding cup.
I wanted to be an astronaut for a while, until I remembered that math is hard. Also, to join the Canadian Space Agency (and yes, that does exist) you need 20/20 vision uncorrected, and Mama does not have the best eyes on the planet. Heck, Mama barely has eyes.
There was a time when I wanted to be a professor of English literature. Don’t worry, I got over it.
Truth is, I still don’t really know what I want to be when I grow up, and the worst part is that I am already a grownup and it’s not like I have any idea what’s going on. I think I might have kids at some point, because spawn are useful. I’d like to write a book, but everyone and their grandmother wants to write a book and what is the likelihood that I am not also a talentless hack? Slim. I’d like to travel the world. I’d like to work from home. I’d like to be on Oprah. But really, how many of those things are likely to happen? And how disappointed will I be if they don’t?
Anyway, Future Me, I hope you’re enjoying breeding Labradors or being a ballerina or whatever. I hope it makes you happy, because at the end of the day that’s all I really want. Happiness…and total domination of mankind.
To your long, successful reign,