Jeez, I wish I knew what I want to do when I grow up.
A few weeks ago, I was just sure that I wanted to go after an MFA. That’s all well and good, except that I don’t have concrete plans for what to do with it after I finish. Be a better blogger? Um, sure. Write a book? Not so sure about that one. An MFA in writing seems to attract people who want to write novels and I’m not at that place right now.
But the boys will both be in school in the fall and that will leave me with a lot of time on my hands. My lovely therapist is pushing me to go back to school and she thinks that I might enjoy doing something that falls in line with my religious studies background. I keep telling her, though, that I don’t want to teach and I don’t want to go after a PhD, so I have no earthly clue as to what I would do with that something along the religious studies route. I’ve already had my career in non-profits, which was where my departmental advisor directed me.
History is compelling enough and the project I most enjoyed working on, throughout my working years, was not actually paid employment at all. I enjoyed volunteering at the archives in Iowa while we were there. I’d love to volunteer at a historic organization somewhere working with document preservation, but I feel like I lack the basic know-how. There are degrees out there that would teach me what I need to know, but going to school to volunteer just is not feasible. It’s just not.
And, let’s face it…me going to school with the goal of paid employment down the road is a big gamble, a really, really big gamble. I had 10 jobs in 10 years. Not fired from a single one of them, no discipline or performance issues in any one of those positions, even. I left each of them because something about each of the situations ended up being too stressful and I knew that stress is my trigger for episodes.
So, here I am with my piddly Social Security (which I am eternally grateful to have, don’t get me wrong), and for now I feel like anything I do has to be purely for personal enrichment reasons only. A graduate program for personal enrichment just seems like a stretch too far for us to make as a family.
My therapist was suggesting I go back to school at the same time as Jared, which strikes me as doubly-bonkers. A wonderfully fun idea in theory, don’t get me wrong. I’d love to be a student at the same time as Jared. I just don’t see how on earth it could happen.
But, once upon a time, I could write critical papers. I came across one of my philosophy of religion papers when I was cleaning out some furniture the other day, and I’d actually gotten 100 on the final (the professor, admittedly, was one of the easier graders, but still). However, I don’t know how much of my little brain has been damaged by these stupid episodes. I do know that I didn’t do so well on the GRE as I might have hoped. So I suppose I do also doubt my ability to do academic work, as well as the feasibility of living with a family with both Jared and me in school.
I’ve loved handling the old pictures and documents from my family and I’d love to know how to best preserve them. I’d love to be able to help churches and non-profits do the same thing. It would be awesome. I just don’t know how to go about it and I don’t think I’m worth investing more educational dollars in right now.