It has been exactly two weeks since my last day of employment. Since then, I have done a lot of cleaning, spent time with all the kids, helped out at Chad’s office, and had some job interviews. I haven’t heard back whether I got the job I interviewed for yet, and I’m starting to think they selected a different applicant. Unfortunately, this was the only job possibility I had to continue in the same career that I’ve loved for so many years.
I was complacent at my old job. I enjoyed what I did and loved the people with whom I worked. It was interesting and rewarding, and I was well-liked. I received frequent praise for my work quality, creativity, flexibility, efficiency, etc. It was nice to be appreciated. Even the people who forced me to “resign” could not help but praise my work; they made a point of saying they weren’t forcing me out because of my work, but rather because they did not want me to work remotely. It’s been hard to lay that part of me to rest, to know that my career may essentially be over now.
But reality is cold, and I must face the hard fact that a new career path is on the horizon.
I could always work for Chad. I have resisted this for so long; it was never my choice to work for him. I have enjoyed helping him these past couple weeks, but don’t have a lot that I can do for him. I’m a writer and an editor, and he doesn’t really do any writing. It’s not a great fit.
And deep down, I really want to do something meaningful. I want to help people. I want to know that I’m not just working for the money—I’m working for the greater good. Naturally, as Gracie’s mom, I’m drawn to causes that support the disability community.
So I’ve been thinking lately of returning to school—for good. I am considering trying to become a special education teacher.
The very thought makes me nervous. I have no idea how to teach. But muddling through as a Girl Scout leader this year has enabled me to dip my toes in the education pool, so to speak, and it’s maybe less hard than I had anticipated. I’m still not sure I could handle a room of 30 children, but maybe I could take on a group of 10 kids with special needs, like Gracie.
Part of what’s keeping me from continuing in my previous career of being a legal editor is that there simply aren’t many jobs for legal editors, especially non-attorney legal editors. It would be nice to have skills that would transfer easily, so that if I ever lost a job again I would be able to find another one in the same field. And it would be really nice to be able to help people at the same time.
Maybe this is what the universe was trying to tell me. Maybe I had to leave my job so that I would be forced into a new career. Maybe this is exactly where I’m meant to be.
I’ve also considered a career in medicine, perhaps as a PA or maybe a nurse practitioner, but the hours turn me off. Plus, I’ve always thought it would be extremely difficult to see other chronically ill children and their families. I know too well what they’re going through, and would have a lot of trouble maintaining professional distance.
But education is exciting. Children learn and grow, if you’re good at teaching them. And you learn and grow simply by teaching. I could do good and have a job too. It doesn’t sound so bad.
Losing my job has been very, very hard. It’s been extremely stressful, and the uncertainty of the future is nerve-wracking. But maybe, just maybe, this door closed for a reason. Maybe I’m meant to go in a totally different path. And maybe that path is to become an educator.
The future is uncertain, but not unbearable.