Monday, July 20, 2015

Time for the annual existential crisis.

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.