Sense of Safety: 5 Alternate Lives

If I had to do it over again, I'd do this


1. Aikido Champion

Really, the archetype here? Athlete. Aikido just appeals to me because of its union of the metaphysical with the physical.

In a different life I think my weight gain in super early development would have been seen as an indicator I have an athlete’s metabolism, and require far more activity than the average person. If my parents held a different attitude about girls and sports I think I’d be using my tendency toward physicality in a much more instructive/constructive role now.

2.  Professional Dancer

Bellydancer, stage performer, street performer – something unusual.

3. Doctor

As a 5th grader, I studied my health class obsessively because I found out how few women doctors populated the field and I saw firsthand how dismissive male doctors were regarding the health of their female patients. The dream was dashed when I passed out after a blood test at the end of that year. Now, I wonder if someone had talked to me about how that happens to other doctors, too, if I might have held on to that dream and continued to study obsessively. People erroneously assume I have contempt for doctors and western medicine, especially since I treat myself using herbalism and alternative therapies all the time. The truth is that I think western medicine is a very good thing, but that the western medical profession (not the advances in the science, but the system that delivers it) is malfunctioning so badly I’d rather break myself than let an overburdened doctor do the damage.

4. Magazine Staff writer

I’ve never done this, if I put in the effort I could probably qualify, and the question is: would I? I have a lot of fears about jumping the perceptual hurdles to write for these people, especially now that I’m doing the one car thing with my husband.

5. Travel agent

I often think that if I had to do my college education over again, knowing what I know now about the actual value of a degree, I would have moved out of my parents’ house but stayed local enough to get some training/job as a travel agent. Then I could have seen all the world I wanted to (instead of becoming overly intimate with the Midwest due to lack of car) and in the process earned the money I needed for college in the future. I might have even worked such a job all the way through college, attending a year or two late, just because college students are often travel agent bread and butter.