By this time tomorrow, I will have gone through an entire day at work and interviewed for a position as a Paraeducator at a local high school.
It’s a bit of a long story. Suffice it to say September was a month of upheavals, and now I’m questioning where I am as well as where I’m going.
As I always do at such times of intense questioning, I called my mom.
My mom and I are similar in a lot of ways, but as I’m getting older, going through more, I’m finding that we’re getting a further apart at the same time that we’re getting closer.
“I had a lot of jobs before I found what I really wanted to do,” she told me earlier today. “It’s possible to do something unrelated to your passion and still do what you love to do.”
She’s not wrong; I agreed wholeheartedly that this was possible. That’s why I work in kitchens; it lets me work with my hands and still have the mental energy for reading and writing at the end of the day.
But it feels like I’ve reached a point where that’s not enough. I’ve reached a job where that’s not enough. Something else I need to pursue my passion in health benefits (because in this shithole of a country our health insurance system is fucked all to hell).I have those benefits at my current job. I have good money, PTO, paid sick time…It feels like it’d be foolish to give all that up.
Once I’d gotten home, I told my roommate about it. The problem is that it’s possible, but doesn’t feel possible here. The hours are intensely irregular — either overtime for everyone during football and graduation season, or absolutely dead during holidays, summers, and in-between massive events. There’s also the fact that I know I want to write, and think I want to be a librarian.
After I told her all this, my roommate nodded and said: “Maybe this [Para position] is the position that will be unrelated and let you write.”
She could be right.
Honestly, I’m afraid and unsure. Working as a Para means finding a job again over the summer. It means (likely) working a second job throughout the year. It means money worries, budgeting…
But it means building connections in a field more coordinated with where I want to go. It means experience should I end up becoming a librarian. I’m still trying so hard to figure things out, and right now I’m so tired.
All I know is I want to keep writing. I want to write and be published, and write enough for other people to read it and enjoy it. I can see myself as a writer, and I can see myself as a librarian.
But I can’t see myself as an executive chef, a sous chef, or a restaurant owner.
It’s possible to do a job unrelated to your passion and let it be, instead, the support of your passion.
But maybe I don’t want as much of a disconnect as I thought I did.