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Every now and then I get the "what ifs." Basically it's just me wondering what my life would have been like if I had made a different choice than the one I had actually made. It's not because I don't like my life as it is - but sometimes I wonder what kind of stories and/or adventures I would have had if I had done something different.

Today it's biology.

When I was younger, there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to be a biologist when I grew up. I was a science GEEK. Well, biology geek. Chemistry could go bite my shiny metal ass (hence why I am NOT a biologist), but everything else was just too much fun.

In 9th grade I was the only one in my lab group who would actually disect the pig. And I did it with great furvor and excitement. Mind you - I still respected the fetal pig for giving it's life to a group of 9th graders, but I had so much fun poking around inside.

In highschool I took advanced biology and anat&phys. More disections, an insect collection, memorizing parts of the body, the 8 main orders of insects, the 4 main classes of the phylum molluska, the bones in the body, the types of cells and tissues. I miss it, I really do.

My frist year of college was spent in bio labs - lab practicals, group studies, or just sitting there, listening to Cake, typing up my notes (to this day, every time I hear Cool Blue Reason I think of JMS). I would visit my snakes in the aquarium room - feed them left over frozen mice from the Upper Classmen, then later when I got my car, real mice that would make daring escapes from their box to the skanky floor and I would have to crawl under tanks full of tropical fish and frogs to get those goddamn rodents.

I miss going out and collecting samples. I miss learning about how everything works. I miss taking apart animals and seeing how they work. I miss the smell of formaldihyde.

But would I give up my life now as a writer to go back and do it all again? Probably not. But every time Nova comes on, or the documentaries about squids and octopi - I long for the dream of working at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

I'll just write about it instead.
you *miss* the smell of formaldahyde? eeeeeewwww......

if you want, I can give you a blow by blow of my forensic anthropology class..... granted, it's mostly just bones, but we might get into some flesh along the line
I have the same thoughts. Although I'm (nearly) the other way around. I got a chemistry degree despite many of the advanced classes being incomprehensible, but always wonder what would have happened if I had transferred into the art school for sculpture (my minor) or English (grad school?).
YEah - it's always a hard thing to think about (mad props on chem though, I could never have gotten through it at all).

What I guess it boils down to is: Are you happy with what you did choose?

OVerall, I am happy that I'm an english major, that I am trying to get published. But then I watch all these kick ass science shows and all these scientists are having SO MUCH FUN(in my mind they are - anything remotely dealing with reserch and animals and seeing how it all works kicks ass)!

I mean, I know they are also working hardcore, but even still - I wonder how I could make my writing career that interesting, where I could justify traveling.
I think it's all about the old "grass is greener" cliche. If you're truly unhappy doing what you are doing and think you'd be happier with something else, it can't hurt to try it, though.