10 Career Choices I Almost Pursued

I’m happy to welcome back Soul Mate author Ryan Jo Summers to the Power of 10 series. Today, Ryan reflects upon past career aspirations and shares her latest release, Beside Still Waters.


#1—Veterinarian. This was always number one on my list, from the time I was old enough to understand what a veterinarian was. I never took our pets to visit one, so I must have watched one on television or read about them in books, but however I learned about them, I wanted to become one from this hallowed profession. The colleges were even selected as I grew older and held tight my dream. Notebooks filled with reference materials I gleaned over the years. Interestingly, I did not meet my first veterinary doctor until I was eighteen and went to work at their clinic as a technician. Best career ever.

#2—Coast Guard Boatswains Mate. You know those movies in which the boaters find themselves in stormy waters and great trouble? The boats pitch wildly as the waters rise and toss it about. And at the last moment the Coast Guard rushes to the rescue. That was what I wanted to do. I wanted to be the one at the bow of the rescue boat, during the biting rains, racing across the choppy seas, to reach the stranded boater. To this day I can’t watch a boating movie without wondering why I didn’t pursue this.

#3—Marine Biologist. This was a close runner up behind being in the Coast Guard. Still on the water for a good deal of time, and still related to the animals I cared so deeply about. Anchored with a great deal of science, which I always enjoyed, I will always think this would have been a good career choice.

#4—Architect. I don’t recall what started this notion. Perhaps it was during a brief study in school of famous architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and others. This career choice was more of a passing infatuation that never grew beyond a few dreamy sketches of my perfect house. I might still have that notebook stashed around somewhere.

#5—Archeologist. This was another science fueled career decision, and it seemed initially to be exciting. I’m not sure where the beginning premise originated but once I learned archeologists usually work in dry, dusty, and hot environments, I quickly bailed. No thanks, I’m a water lover, not a desert dweller. My sophomore novel, “Shimmers of Stardust”, features an archeologist who winds up in very hot water over an unexpected ‘find’—an outlaw from the past.

#6—Librarian. This was a no brainer. I grew up hanging out in libraries, both school and public. I knew the Dewey Decimal system by heart before I could drive a car. And in high school I took an elective called Librarian Aide. It was a wonderful year. I learned so much about public interaction, professional expectations, librarian equipment like microfiche and projectors, and the books I read that year. Oh my! In the end, I left and never returned to working in a library. My den, however, resembles a library with its wrap-around book shelves laden with, what else, books! And a few other things like ceramic statues, CD’s, and a model ship.

#7—Nurse. Now, this is a career I still tinker with. Technically, a veterinary technician (a career I enjoyed for over eight years) is an animal nurse. And I did go ahead and earn my certificate as a Physical Therapy Aide, and have never used it. I love all things having to do with nursing, from phlebotomy, to radiology, to rehabilitation, to surgery. Doubtlessly I would find something I liked in the nursing field.

#8—Caterer. I am not sure where this came from, as I never knew a caterer or hired one. It was more of a sudden awareness somehow of a career and a fleeting fancy that it would be a cool job. I like baking and cooking, so it seemed like a natural connection. The notion passed before I could do any research to see what was required. Interestingly, I used catering as a career for my heroine in an upcoming release, “Coffeecake Chaos”, and I routinely pet-sit for a pair of caterers now.

#9—Teacher. This one was suggested, repetitively, to me by numerous people as I grew up. It was suggested by many that I go into teaching. (Honestly, I don’t really know why) So when the elective of teacher aide came up in Jr high school, I signed up for a year. I also took office aide as well. I was in eighth grade and sent to first grade to assist with 24 charming six-year-olds. It was an educational year, I learned a lot, and look fondly back on the time. And it cured me of any desire to be a teacher. I am tinkering with having this be the career of the heroine in one of my early-planning-stage stories.

#10—Writer. This was up there neck and neck with Veterinarian. I always knew I wanted to be a writer, ever since I could read and write. It took some years to realize people actually made a living doing this, but I wanted to write. I needed to write. Whether I made a living or not, I had to be writing something, and searching for someone who wanted to read it. It wasn’t so much a career, I felt, but a calling. Perhaps over time I will write stories to incorporate the other careers I ended up not pursuing.



Top Journalist and corporate climber, McKayla Buchanan, is sent to a remote California mountain camp for inner-city, at-risk teens. Accustomed to political corruption and high-society drama assignments, she is suddenly a fish out of water. At Camp In As Much, she meets eight hostile and distrustful teens, assorted volunteers and rescued horses—and Clay.

Clay Michaels is the man who founded Camp In As Much and made it the success it is now. His hope for the highly recommended journalist is to come and write a feature to send seeds out to form other camps like his nationwide. He never considered the reporter would turn out to be a lovely woman, or for him to have such an attraction to her.

Between McKayla’s worldly experience and Clay’s strong faith, they form a partnership to help with the endless challenges of the kids. While McKayla’s assignment is supposed to be temporary, it isn’t long before she and Clay are each wishing it could last longer. A serious situation will force McKayla to decide if she can give up her worldly ways and place her faith in the same higher source that earthy and godly Clay does.



ryanjosummersRyan Jo Summers writes romance across the genres. Her books contain love stories blended with any combination of mystery, paranormal, time travel, shape shifting, Christian and humor elements. She comes from a family of wordsmiths. Her dad is a songwriter and his aunt wrote poetry. Ryan Jo dabbles in poetry, short stories and non-fiction articles. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and baking, reading, spending time with friends, growing plants, playing chess, mah jongg, and wiggly word find puzzles and exploring the great outdoors. She lives in the heart of Appalachia in Western North Carolina in a charming old cottage with a menagerie of rescue pets.

Where to find Ryan Jo Summers…

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