When I was a kid, well more of a kid than I am now, my dream was to be a herpetologist.
Herpetology- The study of Reptiles and Amphibians
Herpetologist- Someone who studies Reptiles and Amphibians
Not a terribly complex idea, ya?
Apparently it wasn’t as simple as I thought.
There would be the teachers who would ask “What do you wanna be when you grow up?”
Expecting some bullshit about being a vet or a firefighter.
And I would say “Herpetologist”
For someone in education, you would think that would be in their vocabulary, but I suppose not.
I loved watching Steve Irwin and Jeff Corwin. My dream was to do exactly what they do. Go out, catch animals, teach about them, and release them.
I even tried it. I got a bunch of tanks, filled them with critters, and tried to teach the neighborhood kids about a frog life cycle.
They weren’t too interested, but I loved it.
Then I got older, and everyone else thought that it wasn’t a viable career.
“You want to clean snake crap for a living?”
So, following the suggestion of a multitude of people, I let the dream die.
I mean, there aren’t many herpetology jobs, or pay isn’t to great, and the jobs that do exist are in zoos or aquariums (coincidentally, to maintain the enclosures).
The response to the “career” question became something more viable like “Geneticist” or “Bioengineer” and I forget that little part of me that just wants to go outside and look under rocks or in ponds.
Whenever I catch a glimpse of that flame, it’s extinguished by social law telling me that it isn’t something someone my age does.
“Go do something more your age”
Get someone pregnant?
Get so drunk I need my stomach pumped?
Get arrested for marijuana possession?
God, I just want to go back to those summers when I could ride my bike down the hill, holding a huge net duct taped to a broom handle without judgement.
Eh, forget it.
The dream’s dead