Thursday, October 20, 2011

Deep thoughts stemming from the Rachel Zoe Project.


Today amidst watching one of my students on the playground today, my mind started wandering.  Rachel Zoe had mentioned on one of her recent episodes how she is passionate about all the work she does.  Now dictionary.com defines passionate as: having, compelled by, or ruled by intense emotion or strong feeling; fervid: AND expressing, showing, or marked by intense or strong feeling; emotional: passionate languageRachel really got me wondering, “What am I passionate about?”

I really had to think hard about this question.  I’m honestly not passionate about my job.  I love working with and teaching children, but I really don’t have those passionate feelings about it.  I’ve really grown to love running, but I still don’t feel passionate about it.  The craft beer world is a big part of my life due to D and our circle of friends associated with that world, but I’m not passionate about it.  Then it came to me, the one thing (aside from D of course) I am really passionate about is traveling.  I probably love travel more than any thing/activity in the world.  I constantly think about where I want to visit, the places and cultures I want to see.  I could talk about my international trips for hours on end.  I am definitely passionate about travel.



As my mind continues to wander, I mulled over how I can weave my travel passion into an every day or more regular occurrence.  As I said, I do love teaching but it’s not my true passion.  It’s more of a means to an end that I at least enjoy.  The end being the money.  The money to travel.  Let’s be honest…at this point, the salary doesn’t quite get me to the end.  I barely make enough money to enjoy one good vacation per year.  Another honest statement: My desire for travel (and traveling with mostly ease) is a primary reason I could care less about having kids.  So I need a job that allows pays me to travel.  Yeah…not much happening there.  Flight attendant?  Nope, I hate customer service.  Travel writer?  How the hell do you find a coveted job like that with no formal journalistic schooling/experience?  International teacher?  Maybe if I didn’t have a wonderful husband who loves his job, family of pets, and a house.  I’m at a loss. 

It’s actually a bit depressing that I don’t get to partake in and fully enjoy my passion.  For the past 6 years I’ve been in school of some sort in order to make a career (4 years undergrad, 1 year grad, + 1 year part-time to clear my teaching license).  Needless to say, I’ve racked up quite a student loan debt.  A large portion of my after-tax salary (why do they even look at pre-tax dollars?!  It means nothing since I never get to see that money) is chewed up by paying for these loans instead of pursuing my passion.  So what’s a girl to do?  Continue with my means to an end for 20+ years hoping that one day my salary will increase (there are 5th and 6th year teachers in NC still working on a 1st year teacher salary) and pay off the student debt?  Do I suck it up and enjoy the fact that I am still in the “middle class” and have the ability to spend my money traveling my one trip per year?  Or do I follow my possibly unrealistic dreams of finding a job that allows me to travel regularly?

(PS. Let me clarify, [mainly because I am really self-conscious that D thinks I will never be happy in a job/with what I’m doing] I do still really enjoy my current teaching job.  I love the school I’m at…the teachers, the schedule, and elementary level.  I appreciate my much smaller case and work load.  I feel appreciated.  I enjoy the students and challenges they often bring.  Do I still hate getting up early and counting down the days until Friday?  Yes.   Do I still wonder if there may be a “better fit” of students for me?  Maybe.  Do I get jealous when I leave the house at 7am and D and the pups are still sleeping?  Hell yes.  But I promise, I really, really enjoy this job.  I just wish it better funded my passion.)

6 comments:

WannabeRunner said...

Good post! Maybe your dream isn't unrealistic of finding a job that will let you travel. You can always try!

(christine) said...

I've been recently trying to figure all that out as well, I am also a teacher, but I quit my job last june and have been traveling in Spain for the past few months. I think I'd like to find a way to incorporate working with undeserved students and allowing for them to travel- either in the US or anywhere... now I just need to figure out how to make it happen :)

annelise said...

Oy, sista. Seriously with the travel. I just don't understand those people who don't have the passion to see new places and cultures. Too bad work comes between our passion for it though. Why weren't we born as heiresses who could jump on a jet whenever it took our fancy? (I sometimes resent my ancestors for not leaving piles of money to be inherited.)

It's a tough one, especially if D is content to stay where you guy are now. If it's your passion, I think it will work out somehow. It has to.

Danielle (elleinadspir) said...

I wish I had a passion...but I don't really.

Claire Kiefer said...

I think you've captured what so many of us (at our relative age) are struggling with. I feel the same way about my job--I do like it, and I mostly feel fulfilled, but it's not what I imagine doing for the rest of my life. And I'm constantly mourning the fact that I don't have money for travel. Maybe these years are just the ones to figure it all out, you know?

Danielle said...

I can totally relate to this post. I love my kids, coworkers and the summers off, but i just dont know if im passionate about it. I hope yu find what youre looking for.

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