Monday, November 9, 2009

More thinking

...a continuation from yesterday.
"Where are you going?"

THIS. This is a question I'm struggling with right now.

I started college thinking I wanted to be a Veterinarian. I thought I had it figured out...I had spent time around animals, I had worked at an animal hospital in High School...I really thought I was going in with my eyes open. At the end of my Freshman year, I decided that being a Vet was not going to be for me. To this day, I have no idea why I made that choice.

I explored a lot of other things. I knew I wanted to stay in the Sciences, but didn't know what that meant. Thought about Forestry and Natural Resources really hard. In the end, I majored in Biology, minored in Chemistry and History, and went into Teaching.

Now, I'm not going to tell you that the very first day I walked into a classroom I knew it was for me, but that was very close to what happened. I fell in love with teaching...I really really enjoyed it. I was lucky enough to get a job right out of school, and spent the next nine years loving every second of my job.

Once I got married, though, things started to feel strange. I still loved it, and I think I was pretty good at it...but the work, the constant paperwork, the long hours, the fact that there is ALWAYS more to do and NEVER enough time to do it...that really started to get to me.

I realize now that I am home that I would never have been able to be the teacher I wanted to be (the teacher I was) and the mom I want to be had I kept teaching. It makes me a little sad, but it's true. The question I am asking myself is this: will it always be true? I plan to go back to work when Toast starts Kindergarten, and I worry about that time commitment. I am excited by other options, I am seeing that although I love teaching, it might not always be my only love.

Does it make me a failure if I change my career in the middle of the stream? What does it mean when you are 36 and you still don't know what to do? I have always looked with distain on people who never "figure it out"...people who go from one thing to another like bees in a flower garden. Now I kind of wonder if I'm missing something by not allowing myself to look at the world that way.

My parents (and their parents) did what most people in those generations did: they got a job, and worked at it, then retired. I know that this is often not the way things go now, but it still doesn't feel like the responsible, adult thing to do to be reconsidering my career options now that I have a family. Aren't I supposed to be settling down and working, saving, getting to retirement?

Won't I get there anyway?

This has been on my mind a lot lately, often to the exclusion of other things. Hubby and I have had a few discussions about it, but not nearly the length and breadth of discussion that would be involved if I decided to pursue something else. It's something I'm still figuring out, and talking about it makes me, well, a little scared.

I don't want to do anything that makes me feel like I'm missing out on what I could experience. Sometimes that thought seems so immature, though. I struggle with this process, these thoughts.

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