In july I am headed back to university to embark on a new profession. I have had mixed reactions to this news, with good reason. Mostly because I already have a profession. One that I have had successes in and have enjoyed for the most part of 7 years.
Despite this, I decided it was time for a change, thus enrolling in a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Primary). Suddenly my passion for my current career was just not there like it had been a year ago… or even a few months ago. Not a good sign. Time for change!
Teaching is something that never really crossed my mind when considering career paths. In fact I always said I never wanted to work with kids. Yet becoming a parent, somehow my entire perception of the world turned upside-down… and I like it better this way!
What appeals to me most about teaching is certainly not the wage (although I don’t think it’s as bad as everyone says). It’s the fact that I can bring my creativity into my career and I will be working with kids which is suddenly very exciting! Lots of fresh young minds, eager to learn!
And 10 weeks holidays a year is a bonus… even if that will include a bit of teaching prep work on my nights and days off. I’m okay with this!
But going right back, when I was a kid I wanted to be a writer… a children’s book author and illustrator when I was really young, but later on and into my teens, a novelist was the dream. I actually wrote 10,000 words on a manuscript once. A psychological thriller. I’m a tad biased, but it kinda rocked!
For a few fleeting moments I thought being a police officer would be cool. Not anymore. Especially not having worked in the correctional system for most of my adult life. I’ve had enough of that field.
I dabbled as an artist. At times I could sketch pretty well… but couldn’t paint to save my life and overall, it was just more stressful than I needed it to be trying to create fine art. Short lived dream!
The idea that lingered the longest was becoming a zoologist. I invisioned myself somewhere in the African plains, binocculas to my eyes, notepad by my side and pen in hand, scribbling every little observation of the big cats in the wild. I imagined lots of khaki, sweat and dirt. But most of all, just that love of animals made it seem like the dream career.
So what happened… Chemistry happened. I hate it. I was hopeless at it. In fact I failed it… only just. Because somewhere along the way I decided it was stupid and too hard and gave up. Apparently it was a pre-requisite to becoming a zoologist so I had to abandon my dream for a more realistic one.
Thus came the decision to study psychology. Yep, I switched from studying animals, to people. In a way I told myself it was the same thing, just different creatures to observe. It’s not really very similar at all.
But don’t get me wrong. I have loved my profession for the most part. I have experienced some very unique cases, seen some complex trauma and psychiatric histories and hopefully have made a little bit of difference to some lives.
But it’s time for me to follow a new path now that will lead me in another direction, at least for a little while. I am not abandoning my professional skills completely. Guidance counselling may be a great combination of both teaching and psychology down the track.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Did it happen?