Diana and I were talking the other night about various work things prior to us meeting. We met a bit late compared to most couples, in our 30's. I was married before, and in some ways, she was married to her career.
People are often surprised to hear that Diana was a stage manager, working in New York and Cleveland. When I say she was married to her career, I mean that because anything in the theater is a lifestyle, not just a job. You work nights, and when you're not working nights, you're spending all kinds of intense time ramping up for a show. It's not that she didn't date, but that arrangement is not very conducive to a regular social life. In any case, she left that life before I met her, so I never had a chance to see her in that element, calling shows or telling people to head toward their first positions. These days she works part-time in a front-of-house position, but the old life is still every bit a part of her, and I get to hear the stories.
I minored in theater for a year, and gathered enough tech knowledge to be dangerous (or at least kick ass in lighting and sound for community theater), but I landed in a field that was similarly poor in terms of pay and lifestyle: Radio and television. I started in commercial radio at the end of my junior year of college, but it only lasted about nine months after school. A year after graduating, I landed in a government TV gig with no equipment and a tense few months justifying my existence while I waited for the gear to be legislated into existence. I'd end up doing that for about three years before leaving for software and the Internet. Fortunately, Diana has seen me behind a microphone, when I went back to my college to do a few shifts for fun, just before we went to Seattle. I've sort of stayed in video by doing the occasional mini documentary or whatever, so she knows I can do it.
It's weird that we had these fundamentally different professional lives before we met, and while we know about this different life, we weren't there for it. That's so weird, knowing someone that well but not having been there during those times. I'm glad she works in the theater now, even if it is in a different kind of role, and I'm glad I sometimes bust out the gear to make stuff.