Two years ago I followed my passion and got a job at Scripps Institution of Oceanohraphy as a marine chemist. I work on research ships at sea for about 30 percent of the year, sometimes for months at a time. I had volunteered on a 10 day trip and knew that I had to find a way to get paid to be out at sea and travel. It was shocking the effect that a fulfilling job had on me, just telling people what I do feels like bragging.
|Me on the ice in the Arctic during a research trip. Ignore the banana.
So in his new-found free time, I encouraged my husband to search for a job that would make him feel the same way. Write a list (this is actually my solution to everything) of five things that would seem a bit ridiculous to get paid to do. A quick aside, I gave this suggestion to a good friend recently who could only come up with two, sitting on the couch and scratching himself. Hopefully he’s looking into a career as an underwear tester – I mean, these must exist right? Anyway, not surprisingly, the number one thing on Reed’s list was “drink beer.” Luckily we live in San Diego where there’s a booming craft beer scene and this is a legitimate career path and possibly the only industry that is growing and adding jobs in this economy. So he started a job search to be involved in the craft beer industry in some capacity. A job search, I always say, that tops the usual ordeal. He went to all the tasting rooms, drank beer, and talked to the people behind the counter and in the brewery.
The other thing Reed loves is to know more about something than you – so he can drop some knowledge. It was a longer job search than he or I was hoping for or expecting, but he now works part-time at Green Flash Brewing as a tasting room server, where he pours beer and talks about it with customers. And the perks all come in liquid form. Living the dream.
Now something that I hadn’t really planned on is just how much it’s taken over our life. Stopping into every little brewery between Portland, Oregon and Homer, Alaska on a road trip last summer, trying out the vintner’s side project brews during a day of wine tasting in Franschhoek, South Africa, tripping over the cases of beer that clutter my kitchen, and the recent purchase of a full-sized fridge to be converted into a kegerator and beer fridge – these are all parts of my life now.
|Wine tasting in South Africa quickly turned into beer tasting.
No sip of beer is taken without his nose in the glass offering up such comments as “bananas!” or “coriander!” This from the man who only last year read wine-tasting notes off like they were part of a comedy routine, scoffing “leather?” “earth?” “black fruit, really?” while I swirled my glass and look apologetically at the server.
I can’t take credit for creating this monster, but I sure as hell nudged him along.