Alternate Universes

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“I want to be a missionary,” answered Emily in elementary school.

Third grade Emily looked up to her grandpa, a missionary in Japan, and wanted to be just like him.  She listened in awe when the missionaries came to church and talked about all the good they did in the world.  Third grade Emily had not yet experienced the so-called Christians of the world who do terrible things in the name of their religion.  She thought, what better way to spend her life than dedicating it to Jesus and having great adventures in the meantime?  Somewhere in an alternate universe, Emily became a missionary and saved many souls.IMG_3234

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“I want to be a pro tennis player,” answered Emily in junior high.

Junior high Emily was tan and fit, and practiced her serves every morning.  She was the best player on her team, and had not yet been shot down by her high school coach.  She thought, what better way to spend her life (or at least her youth) than racing around the court looking awesome?  Somewhere in an alternate universe, Emily became really good at tennis, and maybe didn’t go pro, but at least wound up a top-ranking junior.

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“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“I want to be a composer for the movies, just like Danny Elfman,” answered Emily in high school.

High school Emily played piano and wrote music 4-5 hours a day.  She attended the Piano Academy and worked ceaselessly on her college auditions.  She was passionate about making beautiful music and had not yet experienced paying her own bills or the threat of failure.  She thought, what better way to spend her life than creating beautiful music?  Somewhere in an alternate universe, Emily became a composer and contributed something melodious to the world.IMG_3235

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“I want to be a cryptologist at the NSA,” answered Emily in college.

College Emily dove head-first into her fascinating, increasingly abstract math classes.  Her head was in the clouds, processing elaborate proofs and equations.  She was smart, pretty, and motivated and had not yet experienced a recession or government cutbacks.  She thought, what better way to spend her life than by using my brain to help my country?  Somewhere in an alternate universe, Emily became a cryptologist and/or a secret agent, and lived a very mysterious life.

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“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“I want to be a rich housewife,” answered newly working Emily.

She was experiencing what it was like to work in a dreary office, day after day, her soul slowly dying.  She was still young and pretty like the girls on TV, and thought, if only she could move to Brazil, she could meet a rich guy and live in a mansion on the beach.  She had not yet experienced falling in love.  She thought, what better way to spend my life than by being glamorous and rich?  Somewhere in an alternate universe, Emily moved to Brazil and married the first guy that came along.  Maybe she’s happy, but I doubt it.

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“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“I wish I knew,” answered Emily now.

One thought on “Alternate Universes

  1. My ambitions were to write legibly and sing both of which I have finally given up on. Thank goodness for the word processor. Maybe I am grown up now but I still want to do new things.

    Like

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