Thoughts on Graveyard Gardening

“What am I doing with my life????” I just talked to a dear friend on the phone for two hours. We both struggle with finding our path in life. We couldn’t decide which courses to take, which universities to apply to, and now how to get our lives together.

When I left school, I was obsessed with physics and even considered studying it. Now I’m drawn to the humanities, to the social aspects of our lives, to justice, and education, to creativity. I dream to be a journalist, a writer – nothing is less related to that than conducting physical experiments with neutrinos in the Antarctic.

In the past I have done some internships in various businesses and told myself after each one: “I will never do that again”.

We might find our way through the things we don’t see ourselves in. It hit me a few months back that I will never be a professional athlete, for example. Many other careers I will never pursue, popped up in my head:

Although these sound extremely interesting, I will never …

  • climb the highest mountains on this earth
  • bake pies for the queen
  • style the fur of dogs
  • work in a boutique selling hats to ladies visiting horse races
  • be a blacksmith for sensitive horses with commitment issues
  • play piano in an old smoke-filled bar every night
  • name the furniture for IKEA
  • take care of the plants on a graveyard (my friend laughed a lot at this and said she could actually imagine herself doing that. She would found her own graveyard. We didn’t come up with a better name than “Toni’s graveyard” yet because we couldn’t stop to giggle.)
  • cultivate bonsai and sell them online
  • sail around the world to test sailing boats
  • sell mattresses to people (can you tell I’m tired?)
  • have my own vineyard and host wine experts in my cottage
  • throw paper around in my laboratory, count bacteria, and think about that formula I have been inventing
  • act in Shakespeare plays (or any plays for that matter)
  • operate a machine that smashes bricks against a metal plate and then measure the impact (yes, that was one of the jobs I did in an internship)
  • design people’s homes and search for wall decoration pictures for three days (yep, intern…)
  • write information sheets for 4th graders about bees and walk with them along a river to find beavers (intern- although that wouldn’t be such a bad idea, I love bees…)

I worked for an environmental NGO in ninth grade and I said I could never do that again. Now, I study environmental and resource management. People change, and that’s great. If you are unsure about what you want to do in life, think about those careers you will never follow. Those dreams which could never be your own. Your path might become a little clearer in front of you.

Because this is such a funny exercise – please send me your suggestions of jobs you will never do!

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