The Roads Not Taken
I have tried a lot of things in my life. I've done everything from working at fast food joints to managing several offices. I've worked in retail, marketing, advertising, veterinary, and management. Over the years, I got fickle. After a few years in Corporate America I'd yearn for a life in the country. A few years mucking pens and hauling water by hand, and I'd look nostalgically at my old city life where everything was done for me by someone else.
Through the years, I've taken up painting, pottery, gardening, animal husbandry, writing, blogging, and even miniature furniture making. I'm a voracious reader of history, science, and DIY. I'm a loyal assistant to Greg who has taught me about fixing machines, woodworking, and building entire buildings from scratch.
Still there are things I've never done that I wish I had.
I regret not becoming a veterinarian. I even had a grand old man (the vet I worked for) offer to sponsor me at Texas A&M University. But I was young and newly married. I couldn't see myself leaving my husband so soon to continue my education miles away.
I wish I could've become an archeologist. I love the science of archeology. The hunt for the elusive. I absorb stories about digs and live their adventures vicariously.
Finally, I wish I could've become a fine art restorer. I hate to see beautiful things disintegrate to time. I want to save them.
While I don't have enough years left to become a veterinarian or an archeologist, art restoration could be doable, if only there was some place I could learn that trade. I did a cursory sweep of the net and the only places that offered courses were in DC, New York, and the UK. That's a little far and too costly an endeavor.
It wouldn't even have to be an additional university degree. I'd be happy just learning the trade from someone else. I'm not looking so much for a second career, but rather adding to my skill set and doing something useful.
Art restoration is more than repainting lost pieces of a painting or putting together shards of an old pot. It's science and a lot more hidden history than people realize. So often we've forgotten the chemistry that went into creating that piece in the first place. It's all about solving the mystery and reconstructing what was lost.
One of my minors at university was art history. We had a professor who terrified her students (including me), but it turned out I had a natural affinity for the subject. I was one of her favorites, a rarity since she seemed to prefer the company of virile, young men. I think she liked me because I didn't parrot what she taught. I actually did research and tried to flesh out what other historians had left out.
Had there been a need for art historians, I would've gladly taken that job. Maybe that's why I wish I could restore art. It'd be a chance to reunite with one of my passions and use my mad painting skills. :)
How about you? What do you wish you could've done but never did?