Last week, I talked about school, career, and finding a path for my future. It has been very hard for me to focus on what I want to do going forward, because at present, and for a long time now, my job has been focused on my children and home. In my head, I’ve always had this idea of becoming a publish author, and being a stay at home mom allowed me to work toward that. But as I’ve gotten older, the role of a published author has appealed less and less. I might still publish one day, but I’m not looking to be a full-time author as a career. Much of the sales and marketing aspects of that career just don’t appeal. And with that dream gone, combined with it being time to transition away from my role as a stay at home mom, I’ve had a lot of thoughts about what I want to do next. It’s rather hard to start over again at 40, you know?
For the past five years or so, I’ve considered and even worked toward certain professions, including taking a paralegal certification course through UT Austin, researching the local massage therapy school in SA, studying realty textbooks and exams, and looking into the excellent sign language interpretation program we have here in San Antonio. None of it felt 100% right, and I never felt able to fully commit. Then, a couple months back, I realized what job – if it were possible to get – would be absolutely perfect for me, one I’d be both excellent at and would make me very happy: a continuity editor. I’m detail-oriented to an extreme, I love organization, I love making connections, I’m excellent at research, and I’m very good at piecing things together. But come on, there are like five people in the world who have that job and who knows if it’s even a full-time paid gig. It’s too specialized. It was a jumping off point for me, though.
So I thought about all the reasons why I would love being a continuity editor, and what skills were involved, and that led me back to something I’d considered ten years ago. Back then, I was running a book club at my local library, volunteering there, and attending ALA conferences with other librarians. I actually started looking into what I’d need to do to become a librarian, with the thought that I could eventually go into something specialized, a collections archivist or research archivist or along such lines. Ten years ago, finishing both undergrad and grad school wasn’t something I could consider, not as a stay at home mom with small children. Also, I didn’t have any particular direction in mind for my bachelors. And now I do.
Sometime in the next year, my plan is to start school at SNHU (online) and major in sociology with an emphasis on community health, which is one of their special majors. I also hope to start volunteering again at my library after Morrigan has shipped out to the navy. Then, after getting my bachelors, I’d like to get a job (hopefully within the library system here, but I know that’s really competitive) where I can get tuition reimbursement for grad school. I’m not sure yet where I’ll go for my MLS, but that will come in time. Which direction I go with my MLS will also come in time, but there are a ton of options, all of which sound really good to me. I like having a broad career in mind.
For the first time, I really feel good about my future plans. I feel safe, in a way that would be difficult to describe. I don’t look at the future anymore and see a big blank space. The last few years, as this time of life approached – and as my family moved and moved and moved and moved – I’ve been spinning in circles, weaving around trying to find a path through the woods. (To use some mixed metaphors.) And now I’ve stopped spinning. I’ve found which direction leads out of these woods. And I’m happy about that.
(Funny thing: So perhaps I don’t want to have a career as a published author anymore, but this whole finding-the-right-direction thing feels exactly the same as when a novel idea I’ve been thinking about idly for years sudden solidifies into shape and becomes ready to write. Often it comes down to realizing something that you weren’t able to see before, which gives the whole novel purpose and direction. This is the same: finding the thing I wasn’t able to see before, and now knowing exactly which way to travel. Kinda awesome.)
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