Robotic Engineer (age 8, to be clear, I had no idea what that meant at the time)
FBI Agent (age 14, despite disliking violence, guns, and the dark)
Biology Major or English Major (ages 15-17, when I apparently gave zero thought to my future)
Physicist (age 18, after hearing Dr. James Gates speak about String Theory in my freshman orientation)
Teacher (age 21, after I chickened out on applying to graduate school my senior year and figured I’d better do something worthwhile in the meantime)
Physicist Again (age 21 ½, after Teach For America interviewed but ultimately rejected me*)
Mathematician (age 22, after I decided I didn’t want to have to beg physics to take me back)
Meteorologist (age 24, this one is actually a little tricky to explain**)
Patent Agent (age 26, because of my masters in meteorology, of course)
Physicist Again (age 31, when I realized I’d put off getting a Ph.D. in physics for a decade)
Patent Agent (age 32, after stupidly waiting until I’d completed a whole year of coursework towards a Ph.D. before I thought to Google “how bad are the job prospects for theoretical physicists?”***)
Writer (age 36, in progress)
* and I mean like me as a person, not just as a job candidate, or at least that is how I felt
** At the time, my girlfriend was a graduate student at Penn State—so I applied to Penn State for math. But apparently I hadn’t taken enough math classes (which duh, I didn’t know I wanted to study math until after I’d graduated)—so I had to figure out another way to get to State College, Pennsylvania. Coincidentally, right around that time my boss was offered a professorship in the Meteorology department at Penn State and she asked if I wanted to come with her. And that is how I ended up with a masters in meteorology from Penn State.
*** The answer? Very, very bad.