Wednesday, January 24, 2007

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

How is it that I am 31 and not really sure what I want to do with my life?

I have a degree in agricultural communications, with a minor in business. Basically I have a journalism degree, with an emphasis in science. I love to write. I love putting words on a page and watching them come together. Even as a small girl I was writing and making up stories. But even though I loved writing, it wasn't what I went to college to do. Instead I went to be a neonatal nurse. I really think I would have made a wonderful nurse. But after spending those weeks in the NICU, I know that my heart would have broken into a million pieces there. I honestly believe the people who work in the NICU are angels in disguise. So instead I found myself wandering across the Olentangy River to Ag campus and writing about cows, tractors and biomedically engineered corn. And I really feel that I made a good choice.

So here I am almost 10 years later, a freelance writer. "How exciting" some say. "How lucky you are" says others. But I am not sure where I am right now is where I want to be forever. I am at a crossroads in my life where I need to make some decisions. In a year and a half I will no longer have kids at home. And since no more children are in our future I need to decide what to do with myself.

Let me start by saying that I am not planning on getting a "real" job. I love the idea of being able to work in my kid's classroom, chaperon field trips, be here when they get home from school, spend summers and breaks with them. Life is too short for me to miss out on those experiences. But I also feel the pull to do something with my life.

I have considered going to teach English or writing at the jr high or high school level. I would love to be able to share and teach my love for books and writing to the future leaders of our country, but I am not sure I would love the bull crap that goes along with teaching.

I also have thought about expanding my business to include other industries and a broader client base. I have spent the past 9 years mainly working in the equipment industry and while it is great money to go shopping with, I do not get chills writing about mining trucks and track type tractors. So expanding into different industries I think would help break up some of the monotony I am feeling.

Another area I have gave some thought to is going and getting a Masters in Library Science. The thought of working in a library would be like sending my 3 year old into an all you can eat candy store. But I would have to go back to school for that, and paying for such a degree doesn't seem very practical.

And then there is my ultimate dream... to write a book. But honestly, I have never gone much farther than the dream phase for many reasons. First, I have written such technical writing and business documents for the past 10 years that I am not really sure how to transition my writing towards a novel. How to make the transition from the public relations and marketing world to the fiction writing world. I have thought about taking a class or finding a seminar, but would that really be the answer? But between you and me, I am afraid of failing. What if I poured my heart and soul into this to find out that I really suck. That all I have managed to do is embarrass myself while killing a few trees and wasting hours of time.

I wish the doorbell would ring and God would be sending via UPS a guidebook for my life. But since that won't be happening anytime soon maybe I will have Emily make me one of those hand games to help me decide. You know, the kind that we made when we were kids where with just the choice of a few numbers and colors the answer will lie underneath the flap of the paper.


Val, that's me said...

You will get the answer and you will get it when you least expect it. I went to school for graphics, hated it and didn't want to do it. Ended up working at a photography studio and a bad thing (not getting along with my boss and then walking out) got me where I am today. I never planned to walk out. It just happened. On the way home I had a vision of starting up my own studio and then it all just fell into place. That when you know it is God in control and not yourself. It's when it all just lays itself in front of you that you know you are face to face with your answer. Just wait, it will happen. I promise you.

leeshaswafford said...

Hang in there girly. You will find out what it is God has planned for you.

Just keep your mind and heart open and clear, you will know when He speaks.

You are a very special a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, I know in my heart God will lead you to something that will allow you to continue to do & be all the things you love!

dee said...

This is an answer to prayer. No, I'm not kidding.
I had this conversation with my husband today, but if I explain the entire thing, it would take up way too much space. What it boils down to is this... I started writing last year, and I've been working on three stories that *I* wanted to write. But recently, I've been feeling like they're not the stories that He would have me write. I feel that He gave me a gift, and maybe I've been taking it for granted.
So I've decided to take a bit of time and just listen. Yeah, listen. For that still, small Voice. It's never steered me wrong before, and I have faith in Him that He'll help me make the transition to writing things that bring the glory back where they belong - to Him.
So, thanks for blogging this. It's just exactly, perfectly, what I needed to read. And somehow, that doesn't surprise me a bit.

Michelle Pendergrass said...

I was kinda going to say what Dee said about listening. And if that's the Dee I think it is, I know why she took the words out of my mouth.

I think you know exactly what you want to do, it's that step into faith that's not working for you right now.