Posts Tagged With: continuing education

examining this concept of calling

*W A R N I N G*

This post is going to be straight stream of consciousness writing.
You may find yourself asking, ‘And how is that any different from anything else you write?’ (You also may find yourself having no fucks to give.)
Either way, it’s one of those moments when there are thoughts, and they’re fully hatched, but I’m not sure what to make of them. Or I may not even know exactly what I’m thinking/writing about.

Finding creative ways to live comfortably in one household as one big family while still being two small families is challenging.
Thing 1 and I created a plan for food. Husband N is going on job interviews. YBW continues to keep his work schedule. Running this house with more people and three dogs has proved tricky, but at this point I feel like we’re finally hitting our groove.

In the last two weeks, I sourced nearly all the materials for the double bathroom remodel and construction begins this week.
We’re still making practical and design decisions for the new house. I’m exploring different closet systems to find the best fit, function, and price.

School started this week. I can’t even imagine what subbing will look like in this distance-learning situation. I’ve had no training with the virtual system, and no resources are available no matter where I look or who I ask.
I may simply mark myself unavailable for the time being.

In addition to all these ‘normal’ goings on I am plagued by the blood curdling existential pain of being trapped in a constant feedback loop of trying to figure out what I’m going to “do with my life”.

Every time I start to bring it up with YBW, I feel like I don’t have his undivided attention, or it’s a bigger conversation than he’s willing to participate in at that moment.
I brought it up to Thing 2, and she asked for time to let it marinate before she got back to me. Of course she’s become preoccupied with her own life. As she should be! She just started a new job, that’s a huge deal for her.
Thing 1 was willing to have this conversation with me, but we didn’t actually get anywhere, mostly because it was in the car, on the way home from the grocery store.

I kind of got stuck at the idea that initially sparked the conundrum.
What’s a calling?

In true Roby fashion, this sparked more questions:
Is it luck to be employed in one’s calling?
What’s the difference between a job and a career?
How can I help others?
Does helping others help me?
How can I do what I believe is my calling as a way to earn money?
Is this actually my calling?
(y’all get the picture)

It wasn’t that long ago that I felt so certain about grad school for mental health counseling.
Then I didn’t get in. Then I started looking at other schools. Then I realized what it would actually cost (45K) and that freaked me out.
Then it occurs to me that I could get my masters in instructional design in 18 months for about (10K) and teach people new and interesting ways to teach.
But I’m not sure that’s what I actually want to do.

This is when I chose to stop and examine my life.

I wanted to be a mom literally as long as I can remember.
My first calling.
I did it! And if I do say so myself, I did a damn fine job.

I became a teacher by accident. But found I loved it.
Being with kids is great, but not how I long to spend the rest of my working days.
In this moment it occurs to me that teaching isn’t my calling as much as education is. My passion for education, and brain development, and learning styles is what truly inspires me.
Teaching and learning about education is my calling…?

I feel in need of a new career path.

I am ridiculously passionate about mental health care.
But would I actually be a good therapist?
It’s been pointed out to me that I tend to talk more than listen…

I am ridiculously passionate about learning through play, alternative learning styles and environments, and teaching and learning in unconventional ways.
Can I help others learn different ways of teaching and learning together?

If I spend all that money to get this degree and find I don’t like or am not really good at it, what do I do then?
I’ll eventually have to get a proper job. I mean we won’t starve or be homeless because I’m not working, but at some point I’ll have to do something.
So is that working with people from a mental health point of view?
Is it teaching people innovative ways to teach others? Children and adults.

I don’t know.
I’m really trying to examine this concept of calling.

If my calling was to be a mom, I was amazing at it, and still do an excellent job being the mom of adults. But it’s not an active sort of job. For the most part those active days are over. Now it’s mostly listening and offering suggestions, and sometimes monetary assistance.
Teaching became my calling by accident, and I loved so many things about it. But I know I’m not meant to be in a classroom as I move forward.

So this idea of being a helper, a guide, using my intuition to counsel people who need to look at things from a different point of view…it fits me.
I know I’m meant to be a service person. But in what capacity?
Or, can I be a helper, a guide, using my intuition to teach people innovative ways to teach others?
Is becoming a therapist my new calling?
Is becoming an educator of educators my new calling?

Do I let money stand in the way of what I believe to be my calling?
Do I settle for the next best thing?

How do I even know what is my calling?
This is constantly playing in the background of my brain.
While I’m playing with the baby.
While I’m managing the construction here.
While I’m planning things for the new house.
This never ending feedback loop about my calling and a career path…

I am always asking these questions.
I can’t seem to put my finger on the answer.
I find it frustrating.

I want to jump feet first into my calling.
Is it really my calling?

As you see, the cycle just continues…

You may find yourself wondering why I’m worrying myself about this right now while all these other things are going on. (You also may find yourself having no fucks to give. Either way, we’re still cool.)
I’m a doer.
I’m always asking, ‘What’s next?’
I know when we get settled in the new house it will be time for me to do something productive. I want to be ready for whatever that is.
Is that productive thing my calling?
Do I have the luxury of more than one calling in my lifetime?
Is it that managing the project of getting this house ready and planning and choosing things to get the new house ready simply don’t fulfill me?
Does one’s calling fulfill one?

All the Roby questions with no Roby answers.
Twas ever thus…

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

so I did a thing

So I did a thing…

This is my grad school application.

I feel excited, panicky, and a little bit barfy.
I’ve been so sure of my choice, but the moment I paid the fee and clicked submit I had a little questionable moment.

I’m almost positive I’m ready…but just in case the current anxiety is real, I secretly told myself I don’t have to start the program just because I was accepted.

I don’t really need the out, but it eased me enough to move on to getting after the next thing.

I am excited! I’m also nervous about such a big and serious undertaking.
My suspicion is that it’s normal to feel all the feels.

Stay tuned, y’all.

Categories: education, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

pinball machine thoughts

I’ve been sick since we got home from NYC. Is it allergies? Is it a virus? I don’t know, but there is enough mucus for several people sloshing around in my head.
The coughing is even worse. Because after two babies my pelvic floor isn’t what it used to be and I’ve had more “accidents” in the last two weeks than when I was a toddler.
TMI?
My apologies.
I’m just keeping it real here in my nest.

I still haven’t gone through the photos I took in New York. I mean I moved them from the camera to the computer, but there they sit. No edits. Nothing in my ‘to be printed’ folder. I’m either really taking my time or I’m just not up to it. Either way, I’m about to have loads of time on my hands. Only eight more days of school (including this day).

We did have a lovely time. We walked everywhere! All the way down to the Brooklyn Bridge, half-way across, and back.
We ate delicious food. Drank good wine and spirits. People watched in Washington Square Park. And even got shouted at by a creepy homeless guy.

Vintage shops were a disappointment.
But the bookshops were not!
At Strand (18 miles of books, don’tcha know) I found some very cool used books, a brand new one I’m pretty excited about, and bought my very first Moleskine notebook à la Dash and Lily. Only mine is navy instead of red.
At Books of Wonder I drooled over the books in the rare collection. (22K for a first ed. of Where the Wild Things Are signed by Maurice Sendak with a Wild Thing doodle.)
I spent a goodly bit of time choosing a couple books I couldn’t leave without. If I still had a preschool classroom I would have bought more. There were (are) so many books to use as the jumping off point for lesson plans!

I’ve been thinking a great deal about the Thing 2 situation. We still haven’t spoken, though we have exchanged texts. I’m not sure how I can help her in her journey. I’m not sure it’s my place to help her at this point. I do know that “getting yourself together” shouldn’t be a reason not to be together.
I wonder if children have any idea how hurtful the things they do really are. I believe they know instinctively that nothing will make a mother stop loving her child…but I wonder if they understand that one can only bend so long before there is irreparable damage. I wonder this because I don’t know the answers. I wonder this because I know I hurt my mother in my growing up.
It’s hard for an adult child to believe her mom is still protective of her “baby”. That makes sense to me. Only, Thing 1 and I have come to a new place in our relationship. One of mutual love and respect as adults, with a bit of “I need my Mommy” and “I want to protect my baby” sprinkled on top.
A mother’s love has many forms. Looks many ways. Is unpredictable yet constant. That will never change. But it doesn’t mean a child’s words and actions aren’t hurtful. I think even adult children don’t understand that their parents are just human and get their feelings hurt. That realization didn’t really resonate in me until I became a mother.
I don’t know. I love that little girl (yeah, she’s my “little girl” even though she’s about to celebrate her twentieth birthday) but I feel like this must be one of those times of ebb in the great ebb and flow of our love in this life. I hope the tide changes. It hurts more than I ever expected it would.

In the category of ‘getting yourself together’ I’m working on that too. Starting back to school after a three month term break.

Nah, it’s cool. Two more terms and I can wash my hands of this foolishness. Not that a degree is foolish…just I’m so over it. It’s taken much longer than I’d expected and I don’t want to be in this degree program anymore. Only it’s too late to switch to anything else without more courses…
I feel a bit like Marlon Brando in Guys and Dolls. “Stick with me baby I’m the fellow you came in with.” Only it’s not luck…it’s a degree plan.
Whatever. At this point it’s fulfilling a commitment to myself and a means to an end to move into a M.Ed or MSW program.

It seems my thoughts are bouncing around in my head like a pinball today.
You know what? That’s OK.
Let ’em bang around bouncing off each other for a little while.
It might be a great way to start the summer.

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