1 Another Life | The Billfold

Another Life

In another life, I might have been a chef. I would have skipped paying thousands of dollars to go to culinary school, and instead started as a bus person, and then a prep cook, a line cook, a sous. It would be a paycheck-to-paycheck existence, but I would know how to eat well, would know which seasonal ingredients were worth buying, and how certain spices can elevate specific dishes. I would drink Micheladas with the kitchen staff after work. Perhaps I’d try to join the food truck scene in Los Angeles.

In another life, I might have worked for a hot, new tech company. I would have worked as a project manager and made friends with the engineers. I would file bugs in a system and prioritize the ones that needed to be addressed first. On Fridays we would leave work early and go bowling, or get drinks, or eat barbecue. We would come in sometimes on the weekends to do “hack-a-thons” or simply finish something we didn’t get done despite all the late nights we spent at the office. I would have an unbelievable health care plan, a 401(k) with a match, a generous amount of vacation days, stock options. If the company didn’t work out, a few of us might band together and start our own company, funded by our savings, which we had because of our six-figure salaries funded by venture capital money.

In another life, I might have worked in early childhood education. I would have volunteered at the Boys & Girls Club of America in high school, earned a teaching credential, focused on a “play-based curriculum” where children are encouraged to explore and figure out what they are interested in. The job might be at a daycare center rather than a school. I’d get paid $36,000, which would be just enough for me not to regularly stress out about bills, but the benefits would be pretty good. During the holidays, the parents of the children would give me Starbucks gift cards.

In another life, I would appreciate the job I have now, where the pay is okay, and my coworkers are nice, and my desk is near a window. I would appreciate being able to leave at a decent hour to go home and watch episodes of “New Girl” on Netflix. I wouldn’t lie in bed at night imagining another life.


B. Benson is an office drone.


9 Comments / Post A Comment

RosemaryF (#345)

That first life you described is my brother’s. The only difference is that he has no interest in the LA food truck scene. He is the reason I know and love micheladas. Also, his existence isn’t pay check to pay check anymore. It certainly was when he started out 20 years ago, but he’s worked his way up the ladder and can afford to put his two kids through college as long as they stay in state.

Ellie (#62)

I really, really loved this piece. I feel this way a lot. It’s thrilling and kind of bittersweet to think of other lives that would almost certainly have been good, or at least different. The older I get, the happier I am with the one I have.

gridmonte (#5,744)

Very nicely written and poignant! Also, it made me think of Sebastian: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GC_mV1IpjWA

bgprincipessa (#699)

Very well written and thoughtful, and yes I will be spending today listening to Beauty & the Beast, so thank you whoever for that.

halloliebchen (#5,373)

I feel this so hard.

andnowlights (#2,902)

Oh this piece is written so thoughtfully (/wistfully). I play this “game” (the saddest game?) regularly, but never actually do anything about anything I could still act on. Very poignant and well written.

dude (#5,879)

Oh yeah, been there, done that. In another life, I would have become a ski bum for a few years after high school, traveled to S. America for winters, and eventually started a rock climbing guiding business. But in reality, I have a sweet, low-stress, high-paying gig with amazing benefits that will make me financially independent in 5 more years at a young-ish age (hey, 50 is the new 40, right?). At which point, I will become a ski bum and start a rock climbing gig. Funny how life works.

nutmeg (#1,383)

I met a really good friend at a job I took in 2011. I had an interview with Flour that I cancelled to work at that restaurant instead. My friend and I have had an extensive conversation about it what Flour Me is like and I wonder about what is going on in her life sometimes. Flour Me is so great! She has her life all figured out and is super happy. I would hate her, but she’s one of those people you just can’t hate.

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