To be ok with my 1/3 life career crisis
When I was little I told my mother that I wanted to be a professional that lived downtown and carried a briefcase. In which downtown, I didn't know, I just had this vision of 'downtown'. Once I had had a taste of school, I found a passion for teaching. Around grade 5, I decided I wanted to be a middle years teacher. In high school I told people that I would either be a teacher, or a missionary to Africa. I became a teacher, it didn't scare my mom as much as Africa did. I did a fine job of teaching. Then I went on to get my Master's and I did an ok job of that. But then I was done. And I didn't know what to do. I knew that I wanted to be done with teaching in a regular classroom, but I didn't want to start all over.
A problem that I am struggling with is that I have always known what I've wanted to do. Ever since I was five I had drive and a goal. And now, at 30, I'm a bit stuck. I've applied for jobs, I've put feelers out there, but I only know what I don't want to do, and that is to return to something familiar. It's crazy what this can do to you, one minute you're content to be doing what you're doing, and the next minute you are at a crossroads where you could go back to something that you've done for so long that you think it's comfortable, except the thought of returning to that place makes you so uncomfortable that you want to squirm out of your skin (sorry about that run-on sentence, there was no other way).
I thought I was alone. I thought I was the only person in my circle of friends who didn't know which direction to go at 30, and then I got a letter from a dear friend in the mail. She sent me a card to say hi, and in the PS she told me that she was currently unemployed. I dropped the card and called her right away. It wasn't a long talk but it was so good to hear from someone who decided at a young age, like me, what to do with life, only to realize that some decisions need changing.
I was, and am, tremendously proud of her for walking away from a high paying job in pursuit of a greater calling. Strangely, neither of us quite know what exactly we want to do, we only know what we don't want to do. Neither of us want to have to completely switch fields either because that is quite a commitment at 30, with plans of starting a family in the future.
Not too long ago, a fellow graduate's status stated 'to PhD or not to PhD', and I tossed that idea around in my head and then kiboshed it because going to school out of uncertainty is never a good idea...at least for now. I am slowly eliminating things off of my imaginary job list.
I finally feel for, and completely relate to those kids in high school who are asked, "what do you want to do?", and have no answer to give. I know what I don't want to do, and most people say to me at least that is a start. I still have a drive, and I am learning to cultivate contentment in the place that I am in.