Sunday, 12 October 2014

The last blog post about vocation.

I'm about to stay up to some stupid hour to finish my Training and Assessment Course, so I thought I'd write just one little thing I have finally succumbed to: the notion that vocation is overrated and totally not who I am.

I am not a workaholic. I don't even like study that much. I like teaching, but I don't love it.  I wake up and want to do something different with my day. It's not that I'm not cut out for working - I am. I'm energetic, overactive, eager and driven by goals. But I haven't loved every job I have ever had, and even the ones I have liked had some pretty heavy down sides to them.

For a really long time I thought otherwise. I liked that my identity was tied to what I did. A very heated debate with a friend of mine convinced me that it is not our actual job, but our primary time spent "occupation" that people define us with. So right now I am a housewife, and before that I was a teacher, then a manager, then a youth worker, then a student... and so on. All this is very interesting but what I really want to know about people is not really what they do.

Part of the problem of being a teacher is that everyone thinks they know what you do. They get specific. While I was away I spent time with girls who work in other fields, but still white collar, and our questions to them were more about what they actually did within their job, rather than the specifics of it. And as much as my husband loves to say things like country teaching is a lifestyle, I can't say I really agree. Because our lifestyle is that we live in the country and we only do that because we have to work here, and make the very best of it.

In YITS we were told a lot to find out what you love and find a way to get paid for it, and you'll never work a day in your life. That's not actually true. I have had jobs doing things I have loved, but it is still work. Other people say that doing this causes passion and energy for your most loved thing to fade pretty quickly. The clique is a lie I have believed for too long. A psychologist who was on ABC RN a few weeks ago said that it should be that people find out what they are good at and find a way to work with that, instead of looking at what they like. There's a lot of things I like - love even - and I am completely crap at. I couldn't run a Body Attack class (mostly because I can't do push ups on my toes), I couldn't sew anything to the standard I need to to make money from it, I couldn't eat my way through Adelaide's best restaurants because there isn't the market for such things.

Despite all this, I really admire people who do follow their passions. I regret not completing my degree as a post graduate now. Really. My post grad friends are working in some great positions. I've gone the other way and completed my post grad quals but it hasn't made much of a difference in terms of teaching. But, it's me. I couldn't see the point in studying writing for three years to come out with a degree I could use for firelighting and not much else.

So, my big questions is really, what am I going to do now?

Besides trying to finish my Cert IV in Training and Assessment, and my Cert III in Travel, I'm in the middle of the application process to work for Camp Australia. I'm interested in so many things, and experienced in enough to be like 'here I am, take me, Random Employer' and hope for the best. It's been tough being here because there are so few job opportunities, and the ones I've had I haven't really wanted. Even good kids are naughty for TRTs!

What I know is that as much as I like teaching, I don't want it to define who I am, where I live or how I spend my free time anymore. It's now incredibly important that I define who I am and how I want to live before I take on another role that shapes me and makes me into someone who I don't necessarily know or even like very much.

This is why my blog tonight is my very last one about vocation. Because, simply, I'm beyond making what I do with my time, and how I make my living, being top priority in my life. It isn't about that anymore. I just want to be me again, not Mrs Birch, or Miss Holbrook, or The Teacher. That's okay, and enough for me right now.