The holy rolling bagpipes and other debilitating stories of lost dream jobs.

When I was five, I wanted to be a bagpipe-playing nun when I grew up. I’m not sure how this dream came to foster itself in my tiny, flittering head. Perhaps it was nurtured into life by an overtly Catholic family. Maybe I watched too much River Dance. Either way, it was my matter-of-fact answer whenever anyone asked, like I was insulted that they would think otherwise.

When I was ten I wanted to be an author. I spent most of my preteen years hungrily reading everything that I could get my hands on. I find it amusing that my Mother (a self-confessed epic fantasy fiction fan) would fast forward through all the car romping that went on in Grease, but would allow me to read bloodthirsty battle scenes and raunchy medieval romances. I would write down little ditties and short stories that often turned into rollicking novels on their own.

The time eventually came for the dreaded ‘careers’ class in high school. I spent periods pouring over job guides and filling out Myers-Briggs tests. I decided that I wanted to be a bookbinder. My careers teacher laughed and said I should probably have a back up plan.

When I hit eighteen I had no idea what I wanted to be. I went to University, because that’s what my teachers said to do. I did a bit of this, a bit of that. I got Distinctions in Drama and wore red berets. I fawned over my film lecturer. I had heated debates in sociology. I drank too much. I was a bit of a wanker.

When I got sick of this I decided that solid skills were what I needed. No more of this wishy-washy theoretical stuff that would maybe get me laid but never get me a job. I saved all my pennies working three jobs and enrolled myself in a Diploma of Makeup Artistry. I learnt how to apply prosthetics, how to deal with bratty models, how to make someone look like they had burnt half their face off.

And then I landed a job doing Brad Pitt’s makeup and oiling his muscly body in a fancy trailer on a film set.


I stuck with it for a little while, but when I moved cities I found it impossible to make contacts within the industry. When I say impossible I mean I didn’t really try because I hate being social and networking terrifies me almost as much as the prospect of running a 40KM marathon.

So I went back to Uni. I studied Fashion Communications, which is what you do if you can’t sew but you like fashion. It was more like a sociology or history degree and I loved it. I learnt why men used to wear codpieces, how women’s stockings were used to create bombs in WWI and how to pronounce Haute Couture. I got serious about finding an actual career. I researched fashion historians, fashion curators, fashion film consultants and wardrobe positions. I accepted that I would never get paid much, but that it would be worth it if I loved what I did.

I finished my degree and took the first job I was semi-qualified to do. Because I felt like if I made one more babycino for a screaming toddler I’d lapse into a rage blackout. I am now a copywriter for a marketing firm. I fill my days writing news pieces for websites ranging from pest control to insurance brokerage, construction law to scrap metal recycling. It isn’t exactly the rambling fantasy adventures I dreamed of penning when I was ten.

I briefly studied creative writing at Uni but was never exactly a shining star at it. I got average marks and this bummed me out. I took visual design courses instead and cried my way through learning to back things up on my computer meticulously. It’s a little ironic in hindsight. People actually read my stuff and deemed it as ‘ok.’ Now nobody reads my stuff and I get paid for it as long as the title ranks it a little higher on Google.

I’m a little jaded.

Which is why I decided that I desperately needed to do something about it before I blinked and turned into one of those stick-wielding bitties that chant their regrets at innocently by-standing youths as they wait for the bus. But I’m not very good at this whole positive thinking, being motivated, going confidently in the direction of your dreams bullshit – I mean – stuff. So I’m going to need a little help.

So if you’re sick of seeing twenty one year olds find their dream job while you’re still pushing almond cappuccinos at middle-aged women in Lorna Jane gear, join me. If you’re fed up with spending hours on an application for a job that bores you to tears, join me. If you can’t stand the sight of sixteen year olds with tits the size of watermelons while your mosquito bights invert in fear – oh wait that’s just my problem – ladies with tiny titties join me anyway!

Because I’m going to drag myself to this computer and write a blog article every second day! … Every week! … once a month! To prove that I can find my dream job. And by God, if I end up a poor Nun with a passion for bagpipes, so be it!


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