Hey, darlings. It's summer again, which means it's time for Tante to freak out about her path in life.
I did not mean to do what I do for a living. Growing up, I was heavily involved in theater, and when I was a senior in high school I got it in my head that I should study something "practical" in college. Three years into my hospitality management degree, I realized I hated hotels and restaurants. A brief fling with the forestry department turned into a 2-year relationship with the parks and rec management program, which is what I stuck with until I finally had enough scattered credits to graduate with a Liberal Studies degree. I flailed about for a year or two, dealing with a new ADHD diagnosis and the terrifying realization that I had just spent 5+ years at school and didn't actually know how to do anything useful careerwise.
Somehow, I stumbled into outdoor education, and I have been in this business since 2003. Don't get me wrong, I don't HATE it.... but when I say stumbled, I mean it. I never meant to do this for a living. I have no great passion for it. I like the coworkers, and I know we're doing good work, and I am good at certain parts of it, but I don't love what I do. Anyone who has kept up with me over the years knows this.
Life is very short. I work pretty damn hard at a job I don't particularly love to earn a paycheck that isn't that spectacular. If I'm going to be working hard and earning crap, I think it should at least be work that I enjoy.
For a long time, I said that there was no way I'd go back to school, because there wasn't a subject that I liked enough to want to incur debt for. While showering off today's camp filth and sweat, it occurred to me that I DO like something that much.
I have spent the last 13 summers volunteering for Pageant of the Masters. Volunteering. No pay. I go do makeup underneath a stage 30 nights per summer because I like it. At no point have I thought UGH NO I HAVE A SHOW TONIGHT I DON'T WANT TO GO. Even if I'm tired, or filthy, or sick from child germs, I want to go.
I like THEATER that much.
I don't know what it takes to go back to school. The cost of it scares the hell out of me, quite frankly. I don't make much money, and my job sucks up most of my energy.
I made a mistake in 1996 when I didn't pursue a degree in theater.
Perhaps it is time to remedy that mistake.