In typical “stay at home because we’re parents, knackered and a bit boring” style, I was watching a bit of James Bond last Saturday night. I love a hypothetical question (if I won a $100 million, if I was a famous rock star, if we still lived in London, if I was taller – you get the idea) and this night was no different. I was asking myself if I still had the ability to be James Bond.
I use the word still because I once truly believed that I could, if I wanted, become a spy. So sure was I that I even rang the ASIO head office in Canberra after a particularly boring uni lecture to ask them to send me an information pack (“Good morning, I was wondering if you could put me through to the international espionage section”).
Throughout my twenties I had a few of these alternative career paths up my sleeve. I applied for an interview with CARE Australia when I went through my “maybe I could work in a refugee camp” stage, I nearly tried out for a proper band, I downloaded the form to become a Fireman and wondered about becoming a police detective. Each “career” had the same overriding themes. Firstly the obvious one: Chicks dig spies (“this is my last night in Sydney, after this I won’t be able to contact you”) , refugee co-ordinators, rock stars and my other choices. The second is that they all (in my mind) allowed me to travel to far off places, be a hero, do stuff I love or… impress girls.
Lying in bed after the movie I let my mind wander, playing around with how I could be James Bond again. How I could jump on-line and download the “license to kill” application, trade in the family wagon for an Aston Martin and utilise the skills I have developed in the last couple of years to preserve the free world. Along with my liking for action and adventure I can now:
- Withstand hours of agonising screaming and sleep deprivation – perfect for combating enemy torture techniques
- Blend in perfectly with a room full of parents. Although I look like just another proud Dad talking about his daughter, I am really just practicing a deep cover technique
- Negotiate myself out of extreme conflict. My ability to walk in the door and calm down two warring parties could easily be used in the settling of international kidnapping disputes (ticking both spy and detective aspirations)
- (Probably) Drive in a highly choreographed car chase. My ability to drive, whilst being tortured (see point 1) and negotiating a truce between parties (previous point) at the same time retrieving dolly from behind the seat, changing lanes and making sure Big Red Car is playing again at 60km per hour is pretty much, point-for-point ,the international man of mystery driving skills course.
My conclusion however, is that although I’m only a few tests away from being a spy (or musician, detective or fireman), for the first time that I can remember, I’m pretty happy with what I have. Being Bond means I probably wouldn’t have time to be home for baths and giggles, Being a musician touring the world could mean weeks where I couldn’t read Green Sheep for the 1000th time and I’m not sure if the whole refugee camp career would pause on weekends.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not counting out saying yes when I get called up to fight world poverty, crime or the worrying increase in boy bands but right now, I don’t need the buzz I was chasing with my career alternatives. Instead I’ll continue to work in deep, deep cover as a Dad, besotted with his two ladies, excited about the next little package due early next year but quite happy to drink vodka martinis and drive expensive European cars should the need arise.
So today I’m asking what you wanted to really be when you grew up. Are you already doing it or like me, would you need to do a few courses first?
Sharing this week, as always with the super villain Jess over at EssentiallyJess for IBOT