Essay: Daydreams of What You'd Rather Be

Kierkegaard once confided to his journal that he would have been much happier if he had become a police spy rather than a philosopher. Richard Nixon always wanted to be a sportswriter. If one considers these fantasies together, they seem to have got weirdly crossed. It is Nixon who should have been the police spy. On the other hand, Kierkegaard would probably have made an extraordinarily depressing sportswriter (Fear and Trembling: The Angst of Bucky Dent).

We have these half-secret old ambitions — to be something else, to be someone else, to leap out...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!