Friday, April 22, 2011

Running in circles

I've been going non-stop this week, and I don't actually mean that I have been productive. [Though, I did write and give four lectures - two on the Crusades for my World History class, one on the Crusading Era and another on the development of anti-Semitism in Europe for my Western Civ class.  I suppose that's not insignificant...] Rather, I mean that my brain will not turn off. I cannot get it to stop thinking through different scenarios about my employment and our future after our wedding.
If nothing else, no one could say that I haven't been making plans for different possibilities.  This week I have:

1. Written up a non-academic resume and posted it on a job-hunt site to help get the ball rolling;

2. Submitted an academic C.V., application, and cover letter to the community colleges' adjunct pool. The CCs in this city are all interconnected, and so the individual departments don't usually accept the applications (at least, that's what they said...);

3. Wrote a completely different resume focusing on my music experience and submitted an application for an institute for performing arts that is seeking piano teachers;

4. Have an application in the works for a tutoring company downtown that has a philosophy for teaching that resonated with me and, perhaps as important for me, does tutoring in the office complex, and not in students' homes. There are a number of companies in town that I could apply to work for as a tutor, but they all require the tutor to meet at the student's home, and I'm a bit too distrustful for that to be comfortable.

5. Finally, of course, there's getting info for the CMA training (for which I have info for three different programs, and have read through a book at B&N about the training and national accreditation exam).

As I said, you can't say I'm not exploring my options. I have spent countless hours browsing through job listings for the area with all sorts of key words: education, teaching, history, tutoring, Spanish, bilingual, administrative, piano, adjunct, part-time... etc.

But I'm frustrated. I finally realized on my drive home from a second wedding dress fitting that the frustration was because I'm scared and feel so much uncertainty about what to do.  For most of my adult life, there was always a degree of certainty. College was a given, and when God pushed me into what would become my alma mater, I knew within three days that I'd apply and go there... and I did. While it took me about 3 years to figure out God was pushing me into teaching, once I realized it, there wasn't any real uncertainty as to what to do. While I was utterly miserable in my MA program (not with the work, just the rest of life there), it wasn't a hard decision to apply to doctoral programs. It was a little hard to decide to abandon the PhD this past fall, but my heart had changed so much it wasn't as difficult a decision to make as I thought it would be. It's been harder dealing with the post-grad school guilt. Taking my current job was problematic, and is the only real time I can point to that relates to this. But my current situation isn't just about which job to take; it is about the fundamental position God has for me in this world.

I really have gotten excited about the CMA idea, but I also realized tonight that I feel guilty wanting to do it. My fiance and I talked a lot tonight about it all, and I realized that I feel guilty because I know we will be really struggling to pay all the bills.  Is it fair to ask him to struggle while I go back to school for more training? He did point out, as I had yesterday, that it's about delayed gratification - we might struggle for a little while in exchange for the possibility of stability in a year.

So here we are. I'm literally running in 5 or 6 different circles simultaneously. Picture me at the center of all of these concentric circles. That's how my brain feels. That's how my life feels. All I really know is this:

God has a plan for me. God has a plan for us, for me and my fiance. He will not let us flounder without revealing Himself to us. I have a loving and supportive fiance and we get to marry each other before God, our families, and the state in 49 days, 12 hours, and 7 minutes (according to my computer's clock). We'll figure something out. Whatever that will be, we have each other and we have Christ, the RISEN LORD.

Blessed Easter weekend to all....


JC said...

I very much understand the uncertainty you're going through right now. Like you, my life has always played out in an obvious pattern. I did well in high school, went to college, went to graduate school, completed the steps, and always wanted to be a professor.

And now that I realize that's not for me and am choosing to leave, I'm simultaneously more sure than ever that it's the right decision for me ... but also terrified by the uncertainty of what comes next. Suddenly I have to think about my options and consider what I want in my life, rather than what the next logical step in the journey I'm already on is.

It's scary. But it sounds like you're making good progress - more than I have made in the last few weeks! Good luck!

Eventide said...

I know this is really late, but man, I know exactly what you and JC (above) are talking about!!! This summer when I was all upset about my co-authors and hating astronomy and all that, I started looking at other job options, like meteorology or forensics. What if they won't hire me because I'm over-qualified (though I don't care if I have to start at the bottom of the pile)? What if I get into it and I'm no happier (or worse) than I am now? Astronomy is really hard to get back into, job-wise, when ya leave for a while. Could I even get back in? What am I supposed to be doing?! AAAAH!

I wish I had some advice to give you, but I really don't. :-/ I still have all those uncertainties (and more), though I'm trying to stay content with where I'm going in astronomy right now despite not having a clue as to what I'll be doing when I eventually graduate (whenever that'll be). Well, maybe that's my advice: just keep going. Through my entire life, I've been riding the current, and the right stuff keeps happening. I'm sure God'll do that for you too.

In the meantime, I'll keep praying you find where you need to be. :-]