Last night I was watching PBS's NOVA, which was focusing on past NASA disasters. This morning I woke up to the news that the space shuttle Atlantis was damaged shortly after Monday's take-off, and today the astronauts are embarking on a very risky mission to repair four shuttle tiles that help regulate the shuttle's sky-rocketing temperature during re-entry. The original - and main - mission of Atlantis is to do the final repair on the Hubble Space Telescope, before the Hubble floats off into oblivion and eventually, sometime in the next decade, runs out of steam and falls into our oceans.
During yesterday's program I kept telling Matt that I had no idea who would want to be an astronaut considering the risks. In 2003 Challenger exploded shortly after launch when a piece of foam - FOAM - hit the spacecraft's wing during take-off. He began rattling off dozens of occupations that are more dangerous, all of which I am also frightened by.
"Something the size of a pea can damage the aircraft," Dr. Jeff Hoffman, a former NASA astronaut, told GMA's Diane Sawyer this morning. Eek!
So all of this got me thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up. (Obviously astronaut was not one of them.) Now that I've grown up, I work in corporate campus recruiting, which I essentially fell into and enjoy, for the most part. I'm not one of those people who has a "passion". Take Matt for example - he knew since being a young teenager he wanted to be a programmer. When I was that age I wanted to be a FBI agent (I think Scully from The X Files is to blame for this). Earlier, I wanted to be a doctor (blame doctor John Carter from ER for that one). Anyway, as you can see, I was very much influenced by primetime TV.
I once had a passion - I wanted to be a journalist and wrote feverishly about it in my application essay to NYU. I enrolled in their journalism program, and during the first two years saw that half these budding muckrakers had more chutzpah and anything-to-get-ahead passion than I did, and being that journalism is competitive, I decided to let them have it. I would concentrate on something else - to this day, I'm not entirely sure what, however.
I can say this: since being sick - and realizing how delicate our health can be - I just want to be healthy and happy. I want to be a supportive and loving wife, someday a dedicated mother, and a responsible and informed citizen of our world. I suppose sometimes the simplest things are the most rewarding.
So, dear readers, what did you dream about being in your idyllic youth? An astronaut? A bureau chief abroad? Throw a blogger a bone, and please do share!