COURAGE MONTH: DAY 2: “It was the only thing I ever really wanted. And that’s the sin that can’t be forgiven–that I hadn’t done what I wanted. It feels so dirty and pointless and monstrous, as one feels about insanity, because there’s no sense to it, no dignity, nothing but pain–and wasted pain…why do they always teach us that it’s easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It’s the hardest thing in the world–to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage.” ― Ayn Rand
This piece is sad…makes my heart sad. Why do we believe that we know what we want to do for the rest of our lives at a certain age?
I knew what I wanted to do when I was young. I wanted to teach. I knew I wanted to teach…and when I was in high school I was put into advanced courses that started me on that career. I got to student teach in an experimental school. But one problem remained…I don’t particularly care for children. I learned that when I started my baby-sitting business at 11. I was okay with specific individual children, but as a whole, they bore the crap out of me!
Knowing this was not something I could really communicate well with others, since it was a very unpopular way to feel, I just stopped working at the school. I went on to college and decided that a career as a surfer was more in line with my skill set and ended up dropping out. I worked all my life in settings where I organized and created businesses for other people. I was very good at keeping their lives on track and setting up systems for businesses to be more efficient and focused. I began to do this on many levels, but really loved working with troubled people.
I also became a bartender, which was perfect for me. I love bars! I love the environments and the people and the lifestyle of those who are in them all the time. I am not much of a drinker, so was not a good bar person, per se; but a great bartender!
And I worked as a flight attendant, and secretary, bookkeeper, accountant, tax preparer, loan officer, CEO, CFO, a myriad of jobs, all different, all kinds of settings. What happened in every case was that I was bored silly in a matter weeks. So I moved up or on.
Most of the time I worked in administration. I am not good at sales, I knew that from my days of not wanting to bother people to ask them to buy Girl Scout cookies, which are really easy to sell. Not good at it.
So, I am glad for this sad quote today. I always followed the next cue in my life. I have been looked at askance for many, many years; most of my life, because I have had SO many jobs and never really cared about a calling. When I got into this recovery thing, I first worked as an accountant for an Apple dealer and then began working as an administrative person in treatment. I gravitated toward doing intakes and working with the families of the clients. Soon I was working with the clients as well.
I had found my niche! At long last! I was 32 or 33 when I discovered my particular skill in working with new clients around here. I am very good at it, because I have a different way of viewing a lot of this stuff. It is what I write about here. I am grateful that I continue to work for short periods in these agencies, because they are not good for my soul. Too much ego in the business. So I go where I can and do what I do. Today, I do not judge the way I am. I understand that I am probably a bit more honest than most and cannot sit well with the BS and ego that goes into the business of healing people. And most of all, I am now the teacher I always knew I could be. It was there all along, but I had to go the long way to come home.