On this line, write out your entire future [Thursday, Feb. 22, 2007, 4:07 pm]
Reading over a short paragraph stating my intended post-baccalaureate pursuits in the field of English, I cringe at the uncertainty that I can only hope is less apparent to the scholarship awarders than it is to me.
"I have considered," "I would like to see about," "hopefully," "but," "I might," and more. All it lacks is a few "um's" and the stuttering and fidgeting that fortunately doesn't come through as clearly in the written paragraph as they do in person. Hey, at least I'm being honest. Most of the English majors I know aren't exactly sure what they want to "do" either, but at least they're better at faking it than I am. I really don't care though - I'm not going to lie and say I'm heading in a particular way when I haven't even stopped to ask for directions yet.
Sometimes I feel like my path is caught between two extremes. My original goal way back when, was to get a BA in English so I'd be better at homeschooling children someday, just like I had been educated. I didn't want to do anything big except get married, have children, and write a novel before I died.
And now I have people asking me about graduate school? I don't know. I think my true goals are somewhere in the middle of those two now. I probably won't get married anytime soon, and I don't want to just retire into the home as soon as I finish school. So I will most certainly need to be bringing in some kind of income for who knows how long - I just hope it's not forever. I wouldn't feel guilty about having a normal office job though - I don't need to make a lot of money - just enough.
On the other hand, I feel like I need to use what I pay for. If I spend all the necessary time, effort, and money on graduate school, then I would simply be irresponsible to not do something with it. I'm sure I'm capable of getting a PhD in English. But why would I do that unless I wanted to teach for the rest of my life? And I don't.
I guess I'm basically afraid of 2 things: that I'll either a), be satisfied with a BA and work at a "normal" job for the rest of my life without ever being given the opportunity to raise/homeschool children like I want to (in which case I'll wish I'd stayed in school), or b), put all kinds of effort into a big degree, and then find the right time to settle down before I'm able to do much with it (in which case I'll wish I had simply stopped after graduating).
It's as though I'm trying to balance what I want with what I don't know. And - it can't really happen. I just have to trust that whatever I end up doing will be right.
I have learned many things since coming to college, and one is that very few things can truly be condensed to a paragraph. No one's career goals should be set in stone (no matter what they tell you). I also think it's sad how the "artistic" side of the population is often at the mercy of the "business-oriented" ones. As in, if your strong points fall in the area of writing, playing an instrument, acting, singing, painting, etc., you can either pursue the conventional paths such as grad school, teaching, "writing for the market" (in terms of English) or you can be discovered by someone in the biz who can use your talents for their own profit. Those of us who don't do those things end up in shabby apartments with low-income jobs. Or something like that.
Okay, so maybe I'm just ranting and have no real idea what I'm talking about. Hence why I'm a blogger ;-) Actually, that is one of the comforts that I have in the area of "business vs. art." I would much rather write for a smaller group of people and get real feedback, than write impersonal journalism articles for the rest of my life. In other words, I would rather do things my way and make no money than shove my career into someone else's mold and make a more decent salary.
At least right now. But that would mean finding another way to make money. I don't need to worry about that. I'm no genius, but I'm smart enough to make enough money to get by for the rest of my life. There's just one side of me that thinks it would be irresponsible of me to settle for that. And I'm probably making much too big a deal out of this, as usual.
Things will happen, if I let them. I don't know if I'll ever be more of a writer than a blogger, or if I'll have a Master's in creative writing but end up with no time for a family. Maybe it seems dumb, worrying so much about the kids that I don't have and maybe never will. I just know that if I do, I'm going to raise them myself and not be caught up in a high-paying but highly-demanding job. Which is why "planning" is difficult at this point.
I've decided that I should at least give graduate school a try, part-time. I can always leave if I don't like it. But that doesn't solve the problem of not knowing what to say when people ask me what my career goals are. I'll just say I want to be a proofreader. That sounds good.
Vitality - Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009