Once upon a time, a girl--we'll call her..."Jan...a" (Oh, all right, you got me, it's ME. Where was I?) Oh yes: once upon a time a young girl went to college--and graduate school--to become a speech-language pathologist. Upon completing her higher education, she procured a job in a local school system, thus beginning her professional career. After a few years, she got the itch for a change of scenery, and made the switch to a school district closer to home. In the meantime, she met, dated, and married Husband...eventually leading to the "time to start a family" crossroads. She and her understanding, supportive spouse decided that they could afford for her to take a year's sabbatical and stay home with the munchkin, before returning to her job.
However...she had started to experience little twinges...deep-down feelings that it just might be time to...shake things up, career-wise. At first, Husband didn't believe her when she attempted to explain what was happening. You see, he has been employed in the same industry since finishing his own schooling many years ago. Furthermore, he enjoys it, and can very easily, happily envision sticking with it until...well, retirement. And might I just say: GOOD FOR HIM. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that kind of...what would you consider it, "career loyalty"? (Besides, it's good if only ONE person in the relationship is a...professional flake...right?) So initially, he dismissed her musings as part of the whole "post-partum flightiness package", or something. "You'll miss it," he confidently assured her. "You'll want to go back after spending some time at home."
But...she didn't. Okay, then...what to do next, she wondered? How about using another skill she already possessed (Sign Language, from studying it in college and attending graduate school at Gallaudet) to try getting hired as an interpreter? Of course, since she didn't have daycare lined up yet, she had to bring her 16-month old along to the interview. (As I remember it, he sat in the corner and quietly colored, like Mommy's wee angel...sniffle...) And she was nervous...and rusty from not having signed in a while. But the extraordinarily sweet, sympathetic lady (incidentally, extremely pregnant herself--I've always thought that tipped her in my favor) gave her a shot and hired her anyway. And whattya know--she spent the next 13 years contentedly part-time interpreting at this little community college...and would still be there today, in fact...except for that teeny, tiny glitch known as "moving 300-miles away". (Makes the commute a total bummer...)
And while the new locale is quite wonderful in a myriad of ways...it turns out there's just not as much demand for educational interpreting down here. Hey, no problem--it was Summer anyway, so everyone got to chill for a bit and get settled in properly. But now...the kids are back in school. Husband is busily clattering away at the keyboard and conference-calling and...whatnot. And our intrepid heroine is...pretty darn bored. (I mean, c'mon, no matter how much the boys eat, there are only so many trips to the grocery store and Costco one can take to fill up the week...and no matter how deadly dull my day may be, I'm not inclined to do anything crazy like, you know, "clean"...shudder)
So there was an actual interview today--a position at an elementary school where "knowledge of Sign Language is preferred". The experience was nerve-wracking...but valuable: facing a whole "panel" of educators, answering questions about myself, striving to sound as intelligent, competent, and knowledgeable as possible. (Seriously, one of the queries was: "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" Wait, you're JOKING, right? Yep, clearly you people don't know me at all...hold on while I do my best to stifle the laughter and formulate a sensible, truthful-but-purposefully-vague response...) But after the meeting, the details of the job description just didn't sound like something that would bring me satisfaction...especially for 40 hours a week.
So that brings us up to date...aaannnnd right back to the drawing board. What to do next? On second thought, perhaps the initial question should be: what actual marketable skills do I have left untapped, that I could offer to the world? Or let's just bottom line this, shall we? What sort of meaningful, fulfilling job can I obtain, to get me the HECK. Out. Of. The. House? I'm fresh out of brilliant ideas, but definitely open to suggestions from my most Esteemed Peanut Gallery. Remember, the first rule of brainstorming is that there are no bad ideas, so put your thinking caps on, and let's figure out together "What Johna Wants To Be When She Grows Up"...or, you know, at least "this...year?"...Ready, Set, GO!