When I started college in 1997, I wanted to be a teacher. It was all I ever wanted to do. But the English department was often frustrating (including the professor who gave all of her slightly indie students Fs on a paper, just for kicks) and the education department was at times infantilizing. There were many moments when I began to look for another career. I contemplated photojournalism, and law school, for a fleeting moment (very fleeting) ministry. But the thing that always won out was bird house builder. I felt like it would be a trouble-free career. No one takes those things too seriously. I had enlisted my friend who dropped out of architecture to be my designer, one of my musician friends to help me paint, another English major to sell them (and at her request, make beaded lamps while she sat at the counter). But alas, like so many of my dreams, it was just that, though I still look to it when I am looking for an out.
My career path led me from teaching to writing, from writing to editing, somehow from editing to social work. I have, as you can probably tell, been experiencing a period of occupational frustration and general discontent. It has infected my personal life, which I hoped would not be the case. I have picked up other social working gigs, hoping that I would find some vocational satisfaction there, getting back to basics and away from the bureaucracy that makes this job ridiculous so much of the time. But this too has proven difficult. So again, what's next?
I have begun working on a five-year plan. I like to always have a plan. This week I start a part-time job working with people who are homeless and living on the street (There are people who are considered homeless, but who do not live on the streets. It's a complicated system.). It is down and dirty, back to basics social work. With this I hope to find some release and to actually feel like I am doing some good. And if that doesn't work, I will have at least made enough money that I can pay off some of my debt, which will vastly expand my options. I've been considering another master's degree in health care administration. I've mulled over going to law school (though I read through an LSAT prep book and was quite terrified). I've thought about leaving the country and either working somewhere in a structured program, or becoming an anonymous revolutionary figure (a la Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos). Or I could go back to bird house building. Or begin my presidential campaign (2024, the year I in which I will run and win, is just around the corner). Or maybe just finish my chart notes before 5pm.