It really depends on where you start counting.
Plan A was to be a firefighter. I grew out of that shortly after kindergarten.
Plan B was “airline pilot.” I went to Air Cadets as a teen, until I figured out that I couldn’t handle military discipline (plus, I got airsick, but my motion sickness has abated a bit since then).
Plan C was “computer programmer.” I had it really easy in high school, as I loaded on a lot of math courses, and I found math really easy. I went to university, but, without parental encouragement, I couldn’t be bothered to go to class, do homework, or study, and I had never really learned how to do so myself, so I crashed and burned (plus, university math is hard, and Java and C++ both seem to really hate me, so that was working against me, too).
Plan D was “IT support.” I figured hey, I can’t program very well, but I can fix computers like it’s nobody’s business. So, I went to a smaller college to learn how to do that (and picked up another programming language (VB)). And then I went out looking for a job in that — hopefully one where I’d be hands-on with computers or working in network administration.
After I left college (although I really didn’t then, because I was still working for the same college), I started my two years of underemployment. And, while it wasn’t a nice thing for my finances, I started taking up my old hobbies: skiing, and reading, and planning stories, and musical theatre, and I started realizing that it was what I was doing away from work that was making me happy or sad, more than the actual work I was doing.
So, I got a full-time job at a helpdesk, kept that job for a few years, and then got a transfer to another city, taking me back to Plan C (programming). I’m still running into some weird shit when programming that doesn’t make any sense, but I’m learning to deal with it.
But it’s the other stuff: the Scouting, the Ski Patrol, learning guitar, spending more time singing, and writing… that’s the stuff that’s actually making me happy. And, if I haven’t found someone to share that life with… well, there’s still plenty of time ahead, and I’m starting to believe that I can be happy alone.
Where are things going? Hopefully, more of the same. I’ve stopped coming up with unrealistic versions of my future self that I’ll feel bad about never becoming (except for my stories), and I now have a picture of a future self who’s me, but more skilled in the things that I enjoy spending my time doing (and maybe in a little better shape, and a little better dressed, and with my house having a bit of maintenance done, etc.). You know, someone that I have a hope in hell of becoming. And fingers crossed that I find someone who likes that guy, and who wants to share that future with me.