Life BEFORE my life

I was chatting with a friend the other day and she said to me, “I never thought my life would be like this.”
I said, “What do you mean? You mean, like driving your kids everywhere … being a mom?”
Yup, that was exactly what she meant.
The mom saw herself working in a New York hospital as a nurse.
I think most of us “moms” had a different view of what our lives would be like after we graduated from high school or college.
Before I declared journalism as my major, I was taking criminal justice courses.
Yes, my first plan was to “Save the Children” as a probation officer. I wanted to live in an inner-city and work with at-risk children.
About half-way into Criminal Justice 101 we had an FBI agent give a presentation. I learned most law enforcement agents had to carry an extra 30 pounds of gear on their bodies when patrolling the streets.
I thought to myself, “No way! There is no way I can carry 30 pounds of gear and run after a criminal or delinquent!” (Little did I know that a pregnancy would allow you to carry 30 pounds of “gear” … but at least I no longer have to lug that around!)
So, I chose a “less physical demanding” career – journalism.
Yes, it’s not physically demanding. It’s more of a mental challenge. Speaking and dealing with the public – at times – can be exhausting. The constant games of phone-tag/text-tag/email-tag are never-ending. The complaints are constant.
But, again, I thought, I would live in New York City and my byline would be read by millions of readers. I thought I would work for a big newspaper, chasing down story leads and frantically working on deadline while bosses breathed down my neck.
Some days, I do think my “dream” life would be easier than my real life.
Some days, I would give anything to be chasing down a story.
Yet, I do have the best of both worlds as I freelance for a local newspaper. I still get that little thrill when I see several law enforcement vehicles driving in one direction – oh, to chase them and find out what is going on … YES, PLEASE! And, to be able to say, “Hi, is Mrs. Smith available … this is Melissa with The Chronicle-Telegram …” – that still makes me smile.
True, most days now I am chasing around the 4-year-old twins instead of a story. Or around 4:30 p.m., you can find me telling my 9-year-old to finish his homework – so I guess I am like the editor breathing down his back on deadline.
But no, I don’t think I would necessarily wish for a different life – yet it would be kind of fun to have one day where I could time-travel somewhere and be a different “Melissa” for a day.