MacDuff will never have to reinvent himself. He will always have one career: being a cat. I, and a lot of my friends, might not be so lucky.
See, nowadays, with people getting laid off faster than you can say "because of this downturning economy," jobs in the careers we do have, or used to have, or were trained to have, are drying up. And for a lot of us, those jobs have gone the way of the rotary phone. Who'd a "thunk" it?
What a shocker! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever envision a world where big-name daily newspapers were dropping like dominos and bookstores both big and small were living on borrowed time. I always thought that writing was a profession with a lot of possibilities. There were always magazines, newspapers, books, p.r. corporate newsletters, advertising...something you could make some money at. Today, a lot of those avenues are gone...or so overflooded, people are actually writing for free (as in the Huffington Post.) And now, of course, with the internet, unfortunately, unless you are a top blogger, the career of "writer" isn't valued as much because everybody does it. Good, bad, indifferent...everybody writes. So it's not just a handful of people who're competing for the reader's tired eyes....it's the whole world..and the whole world's blogs and websites.
So whereas the question used to be: "What do I want to be when I grow up?" these days I have to ask myself, "What do I want to be now that I am grown up and can no longer be what I wanted to be when I grew up?" Or, simply put: "What else do I want to be? And what else can I make a living from?"
It's a loaded question. But one you could have some fun with (in between crying in your beer over your dwindling 401-K). Let's see, if I wanted to reinvent myself.....maybe I could study to be a blimp operator (and get to see all the football games for free), or a personal trainer...and get my exercise for free (and get paid for it). I love animals, so I could study to be a vet's technician, and pet all the puddies all day long (and maybe get my cats' medical visits for free). I could study bartendering (and get my drinks for free--that would save me a lot). Or maybe I could study to be an airline pilot, make a dramatic landing in the Hudson River, save over one hundred people, then sell my memoir for $2.5 million.
Or maybe I could just study to be a cat...and get everything for free.
Hey, this reinventing myself might not be so bad after all.