Thursday, October 2, 2014

the evolution of my dream job

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{my puppies when they were still puppies: Kilah, back; Moxyn, front}

I think I've finally figured out where my indecisiveness comes from - 6-year-old me. And it's no wonder it started at such a young age. My parents have always been very supportive of all of my dreams and aspirations, and have encouraged me to do what makes me happy. So what I'm saying is, it's all my parents' fault that I continue to struggle with the question: "what do I want to do for the rest of my life?" What a dumb, overwhelming and unanswerable question. I digress.

Even though I cannot answer that question, when I thought about how I came to work in a university marketing and communications office, I realized that there was quite the evolution of dreams and realities.

Back in my day, there weren't cell phones and computers, so we used our imaginations to play. The babysitter I went to lived on a farm, so naturally I crawled around on all fours playing the role of a horse or dog until nearly all my patterned leggings had holes in the knees. Most likely threatened by my parents with having to attend the sitter without pants unless I quit ruining mine, I entered the land of My Little Ponies {talk about life changing!} and other animal figurines. Then I became obsessed with books about dogs and horses. Obviously, by age 8, my mind was made up - I was going to be a vet when I grew up.   

In art class in elementary school, any time I was able to choose my own subject for my latest masterpiece, I drew, painted, molded out of clay dogs and horses. This quickly led to writing stories about dogs and horses in Language Arts class. I began writing stories, not just as part of homework assignments, but because I liked writing and telling stories. I really should have started my own series of children's books complete with my very own illustrations of, you guessed it, dogs and horses.

It's so strange how I became obsessed with these two animals considering I lived smack dab in the middle of town and we never had a dog growing up because my dad was "allergic." I say that with quotes because now he is a sucker for dogs, especially my sister's boyfriend's dog, which he loves taking on walks. Speaking of dog obsessions, I confess that I have a very unhealthy collection of dog Beanie Babies...in the attic at my parents' house which may or may not have been on display when I lived at home.

Moving on. Dogs and horses. Being a vet. Now, suddenly wanting to be a writer. In high school, I got involved in the yearbook and enjoyed my English classes {nerd alert!}. When it was time to shop around for colleges and choose a major, it was a no brainer - journalism. I liked to write, I was decent at it, why mess with a good thing, you know? So I found a school with a stellar journalism program, added a second major in broadcasting because it became very apparent that I enjoyed talking communicating with others just as much as writing. I worked on the college student newspaper all four years, serving as editor-in-chief for two of those years, and was quite sure that I wanted to run away to NYC and work for a magazine. During my senior year of college I freelanced for a local newspaper just to make sure I wanted to write for a living. Of course, I did. Getting paid to write was awesome.

Then I met a boy {with whom I lived in sin after graduation, but eventually married which pretty much erases the whole sinning part in my book}. A boy who can't imagine living anywhere else but Columbus, Ohio. Because duh, the Buckeyes. I also got offered a full-time job with the newspaper I was freelancing for and moved in with that boy. After 10 months of working as a reporter, I decided the chaotic hours weren't for me, plus covering city council meetings was a total drag. So I found a job writing for an association magazine. This new job helped me transform my print writing into web writing, but the environment was toxic and I was really unhappy, so a year and a half later, I was on the prowl for my next writing gig, which ended up being just that and so much more. I wrote for the web, print and eventually social media. I've gained more responsibilities and have had three different job titles in the last six years. Yay, me! During that time I've also gotten a second bachelors degree in psychology and a masters in education and health sciences - dead set on changing the trajectory of my career.

So what do I want to do the rest of my life? What's my dream job? Honestly, I have no idea at this point, because there are so many possibilities that it's hard to choose. And I'm so indecisive, remember? But wherever my career takes me from here, I hope they let me wear sweatpants.

Helene in Between Blogtober

4 comments:

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

I'm with you! No clue, but sweatpants sure would be a nice perk.

Shybiker said...

None of us really knows what we want to be when we grow up. And society keeps changing so new opportunities open up. The best we can do is develop skills (like your writing) and find places to apply them. Good luck!

Alison Brittain said...

Haha I love this and I totally hear you. When I was 5 I told my mom I wanted to be a "singing princess astronaut". :)

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