Contemplations On Life

by bdhesse

Have you ever found yourself suddenly shifting the majority of your goals all at once? I feel like that is what I’ve been doing lately. I still want to write. I still want to get published. But I feel like a lot of my other goals are suddenly far different that they had been even just a month ago.
When I began university, I wanted to get my doctorate in History. I wanted to become a Historian and get my work published in academic journals. I wanted to work mostly in the field, but teach at a university too. That was my goal years ago.
That goal didn’t change until around 2-3 years ago (I’ve been in university for a long time). I began to consider adding Philosophy as a second major, which I ended up doing. My goal at that time was still to get my PhD, but now I was considering something a bit different. I didn’t know if I’d get my PhD in History or Philosophy, I did, however, want to get a masters degree in which ever one I didn’t get my PhD in. I very much wanted to be an academic. Then my now fiance rekindled my interest in writing fiction.
For the last two years I have wanted nothing more than to become a published fiction writer. I have wanted to write fantasy, but also other genres, and make a living off that. And I completely lost my interest in academia. Actually, for the last year I had lost my interest in school all together. Not only did I not want to persue a PhD, I didn’t even want to persue my studies. I just wanted to write. I just wanted to get something published. And that is still my main goal.
But there was a problem: what would I do other than write? Few people manage to make writing their sole career. Writing doesn’t pay that well, so most writers have a “day job.” But I had no idea what I wanted my day job to be. But I recently got a job at a bookstore (does anybody know how to keep one’s self from spending an entire paycheck on books when temptation lies around every corner? I have bills to pay!), and I met a teacher while interviewing for the position. Ever since then I’ve been thinking about teaching and I finally figured out what I want my day job to be: I want to be a teacher! This revelation struck me because I was initially going to go into education when I began at university but I decided last minute that I actually had no interest in teaching. Now I’ve decided that I actually do want to teach. In fact, I want to teach young children. I’ve even been going on to various university websites to see what they offer. Crap, now I’m looking at more schooling and another degree. And the program I’m most interested in only offers a four year option. Oh well, at least I’ve regained my interest in school and learning. But I couldn’t I have figured out that I wanted to write fiction and teach all those years ago when I first began my university career? Why did I have to figure out what I really wanted when my degree is nearly done? Then again, if I hadn’t figured it out now, I would be in a completely different place in my life, and I like where I am now.