Who else might I have been? - A Sunday Scribbling
I was barely 18 and just finished my second interview with the alarm company in Palm Springs. I was offered a dispatcher job, but had not yet accepted. It was a very appealing job. In addition to my dispatching duties, I would also have the chance to learn how the alarm systems work and would be relied upon to remotely program the alarm system from the office after it had been installed. Having always been a techno-phile, the prospect of actually "getting my hands dirty" was very exciting. I left the interview feeling exhilirated.
I decided to do some window shopping and gallery gazing along "the strip" known as Palm Canyon Drive. This was my habit whenever I was in Palm Springs, and it seemed like a great way to top off this great day. I always enjoyed the art galleries the most and spent a lot of time walking around in them and scrutinizing the art. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be an artist. I had some talent, and it was very undeveloped, but that never stopped me from dreaming. I looked at the art hanging on the walls and told myself that I could do at least that good if not better.
I walked into one very striking gallery and absorbed each painting and sculpture I passed. For once, the owner was in the gallery instead of some clerk, and he was unabashed by the multitude of questions I had about the art and the artists. I think he was a little bit amused at my curiosity. I even confided that I dreamed of taking art classes and being an artist myself one day. The next thing I knew, the owner offered me a job in the gallery - commission only, of course, but he also offered to introduce me to one the artists who was looking for an apprentice. I was flabbergasted and overjoyed. Still, I had the other job offer from the alarm company to ponder. I asked him for 24 hours to think it over.
I had a bit of a quandry on my hands. Do I take the techie job that was stable, that paid regularly, and would allow me to develop some marketable skills, or do I follow my dream of being an artist, making connections through this gallery, and apprenticing with someone who regularly sold paintings for thousands of dollars?
Perhaps if I had parents who could have supplemented my income or bailed me out had I not made anything on commission, I would have chosen the artistic route. As it was, I was depending on me and only me and had no safety net.
Do I have regrets? No. I have a great techie career that pays well. But, I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like had I chosen to work for the art gallery instead.