What do I want to be when I grow up? I think I have been asking myself that since I was a little girl. Hmmm…. I remember I wanted to own a pet store, be a hairstylist, be a nurse, be a mom. There were so many choices, I guess I can blame my mom, as she never encouraged me to really have dreams beyond the ordinary.
I was never a super academic student. I am pretty sure it was not because I was dumb….but instead I was a daydreamer and really not that interested in what I was supposed to be learning. In high school I skipped out a lot. I did not know what I really wanted to do after high school, so I never bothered to go to college, and I just worked some casual jobs while I decided.
Then along came marriage, children and motherhood. That busied me for a few years. I learned a few sewing skills, and spent several years working in fabric stores, for a bridal designer and doing some custom sewing. I was good at it and for the most part I enjoyed it, but it really didn’t feel like ‘enough’.
I did some reading on doulas and decided I really needed to be a doula. I did this for over 10 years. I loved it…. it gave me purpose, it gave me new things to learn. It gave me passion. I loved learning anatomy, learning about birth and learning how to help women have a positive birth experience. I eventually moved onto teaching prenatal classes. Since doulaing was not a full time thing, especially in the beginning, I did some administration work both for a municipality and then I worked for non profit organization. While I did not love doing admin work, I was good at it, and I did take some enjoyment from the mundane tasks of bookkeeping and keeping things organized. It was predictable, until it got boring.
I also did a stint for the health system running a parent mentoring program, this job mostly consisted of trying to convince people that they needed some positive parenting help when they where quite sure they didn’t. The fact that social services was about to take their kids away was irrelevant to them. This job was both sad and frustrating.
Eventually I just found I needed to retire from doula work. I got tired. I got burnt out after spending to much time working in the hospital system and I just didn’t want to live life being on call.
I did a 3 year stint as a customer service agent for a small airline. I loved that job. It was part time and gave me enough responsibility and unpredictability to make me feel useful and keep me on my toes. But after 3 years I left it for a full time, well paying admin job. It was definitely not my best decision ever. I was very unhappy and didn’t feel at all fulfilled doing it. It didn’t last long as after about 6 months my husband accepted a job and we ended up doing a big move 4 hours away.
Fast forward three years and one more move later…. and here I am. Three months shy of 50 years old, wondering what the hell I want to do when I grow up. We live in a pretty rural place and as much as I could use the income, I have not yet found a job that looks interesting enough for me to make the 40 minute highway drive to the nearest town. I did apply for a job at our local real estate office. They called to tell me that while I was well enough qualified, I would not be getting the job. The reason being…get this, I was a non smoker! YUP…because everyone in the office smoked in the office, and I was a non smoker he figured it would lead to problems down the road. I was not upset at all… I was just amused and took it as a sign that it was not the job for me.
When you live in a small town…well, it’s title is a hamlet, there are not much for local options.
Do I retrain for something? But what… I don’t have years to waste. Maybe something that would be a great business in a small town ( hamlet)? hmmm…. that is certainly taking a gamble. BUT then again like back in high school, what would I train to do anyway? I get really excited about new things, but also tend to have a lot of interests and hop from one thing to another. I suppose it is not the end of the world if I do not have a job, but I really have a need to feel useful, productive, creative…. along with having an income.
I love the nutrition, and alternative health and healing and I study these topics for fun. But there is not a great demand for these services locally. Online business is the way to go…. but so much time is spent on everything but the thing you love that it becomes a dreary chore.
Looking back on my life, oh isn’t that a fun thing to do, I often think I should have been a nurse….but my husband reminds me I do not do well on shift work. Ok, maybe an accountant, a lawyer, a designer?? Whatever… I just wish I had picked something and stayed with it! But I do know one thing about myself, and that is that I am easily bored and doing the same thing day in, day out for years, just sucks the life out of me. I can not sew the same thing over and over, and I can not issue utility bills day in and day out either.
I guess for now…. I continue with my little sewing business. I will continue to learn and study all the health and nutrition things I like, dabble in some online photo classes and dream about all of the things I can be when or if I choose to grow up!