Isn’t it funny how we choose our careers? When I was a child, I remember wanting to be a veterinarian. I loved animals. Someone told me I’d have to cut them open and put them down. Not for me. Then, I remembered hearing about anesthesiology and decided that such a cool career name must be a great profession. I quickly abandoned that goal, since it turned out not to be so exciting. In high school, I had lofty dreams of becoming a lawyer, primarily because my dad wanted me to. Also, I could argue like no one else I knew. In college, I began to realize that it was his dream and not really mine. But I didn’t do much soul searching to figure out my career.
To be honest, I am terrible at math. I wanted to be a nurse or maybe a vet, but those required too much math. And could I really take blood and clean up vomit? Or kill someone’s lovable furry companion? Nah! Then, I came upon the education department part of the college handbook. Almost no math and only two semesters of a foreign language??? Sold! It was that simple. I had gone from the girl who hated high school to the girl who would be teaching high school. Weird. Anyway, I embraced the idea and did really well in the education and English departments. I liked the idea of going into a field where I was just about sure I would find a position. I also liked being able to have so much free time throughout the summer and holidays, especially if kids were to be in my future. I’d be out of school when they were out of school.
Just because teaching wasn’t my lifelong dream does not mean that I don’t love it. I truly care about the kids I teach, and I want them to do really well in my classes. But I often wonder what I would have been had I not had the math holding me back. I know that I love all things creative, like painting, writing, and music, but I know my personality and would never have been comfortable pursuing something so unsteady. I also love working creatively with software. When I worked for our county’s Economic Development office, my favorite part of the job was making brochures, updating our website, working in Excel, designing flyers, anything like that. When I worked in Financial Aid at college, I hated answering the phone but preferred to input data into the system for student loans.
I still get to be creative in my teaching job. I like to assign fun and creative activities, such making paper mache masks of gods and goddesses in mythology and decorating them to represent the diety. I get to be creative in my theatre class almost daily, and I write my own scripts for plays. Having the new Promethean Board in my classroom lets me converge my creativity and love for technology. Of course, I still dabble in the creative at home with various blogs, being the webmaster for my running club, painting, playing instruments, writing on occasion, and learning to cook new dishes.
I guess we do what fulfills us, and if we can’t get absolute fulfillment from our daily work, we just supplement it by adding in what we need to after the work day is done. I don’t think there is a career out there that would have fulfilled all of my interests 100% anyway. So I chose teacher, and that’s my career. I still want to be a writer, too. I’ll keep pursuing that, probably until I die.
What did you dream of becoming?