When I wasn't moping about my chaotic love life, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do for a career. I may have mentioned that I was a little
My professors encouraged me to go to grad school. I was planning to apply, but then I panicked some more about leaving home (I stayed in my home town for college) and I wasn't sure I would be good enough in the Big Leagues. I was writing an application paper that could have been a master's thesis instead of just picking a paper I'd gotten an A on and sending it in. Pretty soon I'd freaked myself out so badly that I stopped sleeping for days. It only ended when I called my dad at three a.m. and said tearfully, "Dad? I don't want to go to grad school."
My half-asleep dad, who had never said I had to go to grad school, said, "Okay." I don't know if I slept that night, but I felt better. Until I realized I had to get a job.
But then I taught high school in a private school, met Justin and got married, and the rest is history.
But it might not have happened the way it did. Reading that journal today, when I got to the parts about what I was studying and writing, the thought popped into my head, "I should have been a professor." I've known for a long time that my brain is suited for academia. That doesn't mean that's all my brain can do, of course--just that it's one option I could have taken, and didn't. I did eventually go to grad school for a year and a half before I had Miss Pink. I'm glad I went, because at least I know exactly what I didn't choose, and I almost never regret it. It takes a long time to get a Ph.D. and then I'd have to publish or perish (figuratively--it means that you have to publish articles and books in your field if you want job security), and by then I would've had kids anyway. And lots of good things have happened to me because I didn't stay in that world--starting with Miss Pink and Mr. Blue.
But I wish I was certain of my goal in life. Besides raising my children to be awesome people, of course.
And I think that is part of the problem. Every so often, I want to be something other--something supposedly more than--a stay-at-home mom. Deep down, for some reason, I believe that being a wife and mother is not enough as a life goal. At the same time, I don't want to go back to teaching school full-time unless I have to! It must be a case of "the grass is always greener." Maybe I'm dissatisfied with being a SAHM or a teacher because I've already done those things and I crave more recognition. So that makes me wish I could be a scholar or a novelist. Neither of those paths is closed to me, but they're not exactly things I can start doing tomorrow. And I suspect that if I was able to step into that life, I would find that it isn't all that, either.
I have some thoughts about what I can do to overcome my discontent, but I'll save them for another post.