My So-Called Dream Jobs
"I dreamed a dream in time gone by" to be someone cool. This guy would be well respected, creative, daring, and, of course, able. So much so, he can do anything he wants whenever and however: living in a extravagant fashion; creating his brand; having domestic servants 24/7 in his Manhattan mansion; having beautiful people and girls around him all the time. All this means building his own monarchy.
Obviously, he has a career many people envy. You can't build a monarchy if you are, say, a dishwasher, or a phone operator. Not that I don't respect them, though. So, please don't take it too personally if you are one of them because most people can't have their own empires, well, unless, of course, they are emperors or kings. And I used to think of a career that would crown me.
I dreamed the dream jobs that never came true:
Architect: I used to, and still, think that designing and constructing a building from a scratch is an unbelievable thing to do. Almost awestruck. A God's work. That should be one of the oldest occupations: for example, building a pyramid in ancient Egypt or the Great Wall in China. And I, too, wanted to creat something extraordinary. When I was in Tsutaya Book Store in Osaka and skimmed How To Pass Exams To Be An Architect book, however, I was so discouraged that my dream rapidly evaporated into the lavender-scented air in the book store. Why? There in the book were numerous types of formulas for things like making a perfect cut or calculating right numbers for an angle of a beam and so on. Math was, and still is, my enemy: for me there wouldn't have been a life worse than a life with numbers. And still is.
Fashion Designer: When I was a teenager, Japanese designers' brands were in their heyday, producing clothes like woolen sweaters so thin that you can wear them in Tahiti and still catch a cold. They put price tags of astronomical figures on their precious garments. And people got crazy for those skimpy sweaters, not mad at the price tags. But after the Japanese bubble economy, everyone got stingy and those clothes became nothing but extravagances. Then came Gap and UNIQLO, the icons of mass production, where fashion is nothing but utilities. For most people fashion has become something everybody wears in the same way rather than creativity, and for me it has been reduced to a relic of luxurious days. The end of a fairy tale.
Writer: I love reading, though a slow reader, as I can physically and psychologically get into those pages a writer creates, relishing every single detail and dialogue in the book. It is a wonderful experience. So wonderful it is can I laugh, cry, and angry as I get deeper into a story. Much as I like reading, I enjoy writing, in fact. Because I can creat anything in my head and make it appear on pages. But the problem is I am a even slower writer. I am so slow that before two sentences are done, Misery I play on my TV during the writing ends with a smirk of James Caan. Taking two hours to get two sentences done isn't really a writer's block: it is called a blockhead. And this ordeal starts only after long hours of research reading. I am not sure there is a writer so brilliant that he can make his readers cry in fear just like Mr. Stephen King does and yet who is slow and stupid? Well, I can smirk and cry out loud, "I'm an idiot!" Better forget to be a writer: otherwise, it would be a misery.
Tom Cruise: Mr. Cruise was, and still is I think?, an American idol in 80's and 90's. Risky Business, Top Gun, A Few Good Men, and Mission Impossible are just a few displays of his strikingly white teeth, his clean-cut attitude, and his charisma, though none of them made him an Oscar actor, to my great surprise. I now see why: he never played a character in any of those blockbusters as he only played Tom Cruise. But he is Tom Cruise and what's wrong with playing oneself in a movie, anyway? His personal life, however, became shady somehow: getting married and divorced more frequently than getting awarded for his acting, and then the biggest blow came when he revealed a secret faith in some scientist/ religious leader or someone like that. I am an atheist, sometimes sinful, and what's wrong with that? Oh, and I am an Asian. So, that's pretty much the end of this Cruise dream.
Now I am a chef after abandoning reluctantly all my dream jobs. I am making rolls every day for people whose priorities are to gulp everything down as if there was no tomorrow and at the same time to nag about the slow service. It's like I am dealing with the hardest people to impress.
"I had a dream my life would be, so different from the hell I am living."
Of course, not. My life is not that miserable. Yet, I want to impress people with the food I creat even though it never makes me the next iron chef or the king of a culinary domain like Thomas Keller, who built his own monarchy by demonstrating his excellence.
And I am still trying to be creative and make something that lets people utter words like "wow!" and "unbelievable!" That is my dream for now.
I wonder if Mr. Keller has ever dreamed his dream jobs other than becoming a culinary maestro?