Open Letter: I don’t always get this personal on the blog, but this one has been a long time coming.
I know we all need money and that is the biggest problem with just jumping around from job to job in order see what you like. Also, a lot of people can explore different jobs in and right after college with interships, etc. And if you did, that’s great! But this is for those of us who didn’t and are now wondering, did I make the right decision? Should I try something else?
I excelled my way through school, because, well.. I could. I was NOT one to study a lot or cry when I occasionally got a B or C. But overall, school came very easily to me. I knew I needed to stand out in order to have a successful career. I even attended Governor’s School to get college credit during my high school time.
When I got to University, I was already a Junior (because of all the credits I already had). I rushed my way through college (graduating in 2.5 years) because I was so excited to get out into the world and start living. Plus, I hated college. I hated studying (because I never had to before), I hated writing papers, I hated never understanding what in the actual hell my professors were talking about. I majored in math, because it was somewhat broad and needed in many fields.
I graduated in December 2014, at 20 years old. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I landed my first job, teaching high school, two weeks later. I didn’t even apply for the job; they reached out to me because they had someone leave in the middle of the year. It felt like a dream come true, like all my hard work had paid off! I had a career path fall in my lap at age 20 when I wasn’t even looking.
Flash forward 4 years later: What am I doing with my life? I know most of the world is not in a job that they “love” and I think that is sad. However, I can’t help but feel out of place. I love working and interacting with the teenagers… I can connect and relate to them very well. BUT, You hear stories of these incredible teachers all the time saying “I always knew I was called to teach”. Nothing inside of me feels like I am called to be a teacher.
There are great aspects of the job and I’m not at all saying that I hate it… but I definitely feel disconnected to the actual job itself. I respect those who are called, because it is an extremely important job! Do I do my job with a smile on my face? Of course! I am going to give the students all that I have while I am there! But, in a field that should be so important for the future of our country, it seems alarming that we have to make our students jump through a one-size-fits-all hoop that actually teaches them very little about the real world. Which leads me to say that I feel a deep pit inside my soul telling me that I haven’t quite found my way yet and that sometime in the future, I will find what I am actually “called” to do.
I went and saw the EddieB Comedy Tour in Durham, NC last night. He is an incredibly talented comedian, who focuses his work on teachers. His videos are hilarious! You should definitely check him out, teacher or not. However, at the end of the show, he told his story. He taught for 10 years, retired, moved to LA to be an actor, didn’t make it, went to work as a teacher for an 11th year and only then did his comedy career come out of that. Afterwards he said this (roughly quoting):
“If you are in teaching and you know it’s for you, then that’s great. But I’m here for the one’s who haven’t quite found their place in the world yet.”
That statement left me absolutely floored! Him simply stating that it’s okay to admit when you are not content with where you are seemed so profound. And, Of course, you could take out the word teaching and apply it to any field or situation. It seems that we are wired to “pick a job, work hard, work your way up, stick with it” or “well, I’ve already spent a lot of time on this job, is it worth starting all over?” He made it sound so simple; Just because I am in a job, a good job, a steady job, a very important job….doesn’t mean I have to stay here forever. Of course, I should work hard, be positive, and give it my all while I am there. And who knows, I might stay in teaching forever! However, hearing those words made me feel more normal, like I wasn’t alone.
The point of all of my ramblings is this: No matter what career field you are in… Life is short and You should never say no to opportunities that arise. I have my eyes and my heart open wide to listen for what God calls me to do in the future. So, just because you feel out of place, doesn’t mean you are stuck.; it means you need to pray, do research, explore new interests and hobbies, and truly contemplate on what is important to you.
Also, remember that your work doesn’t have to define your entire purpose in life. We tend to think that our careers portray who we are. It doesn’t have to be that way. You should have a big and full life outside of your work! So no matter where you are in your journey, embrace life, do what makes you happy, and enjoy the ride!
If you haven’t noticed… I love to travel. I love clothes. I love creating new things. I love interacting with people. I would love a job to now fall in my lap that deals with all those things. Will it? Probably not. But I have had a lot of time to reflect on me, my goals, and what is important to me. I think taking care of your mental health is a huge deal. Do you need a mental heath day? Take it. Really want to go on a trip out of town? Do it. Want to change jobs? Go for it. It is a very personal decision and is really none of anyone else’s business. So my advice to you is, pray, reflect, listen, and research. Then, when the opportunity arises, don’t be afraid to take it, no matter how crazy it might seem to someone else.
I hope this helped you or inspired you in someway… and if it didn’t, well, it helped me to simply write it down and explain how I feel to the world. Let me know what you think!
Previous Post: Journaling