Sunday, November 16, 2008

Looking For The Next Step

"When God closes a door, she sometimes leaves a window open," they say.

Of course, this leads us to the ever-timely questions, "Why is the Creator of heaven and earth trying to trap me in this building anyway? Is this some kind of fire drill? Why do we always have to do the door/window thing on days when I wear pantyhose, and a straight-fitting skirt? Is my underwear showing?"

This is, I suspect, one of the reasons all those great philosopher-types, Philo and the Rambam and them, were so harsh about the idea of anthropomorphizing the Almighty. When you think too hard about these bits of cross-stitch sampler theology, some real questions arise that you probably shouldn't be asking.

No, the Balabusta is not having a crisis of faith. She is just having another crisis of career. (This is normal, in fact practically routine. As I implied above, Herself and I have been playing this door-window game for years.)

This is my career arc:

All I have ever wanted to be is a writer. And I have been a writer all my life. I write. Quite a lot. I have a couple of mostly-done novels, and I have published some articles and a short story. I have even gotten paid a little for some of this. But it does not pay the bills, at least not yet.

When I was in high school, I thought I wanted to be a college professor.

In college, I got totally confused, and had no IDEA what I wanted to be.

Then I thought I wanted to be a rabbi. So I went to rabbinic school after college. For a year. It was extremely expensive, and very very stressful. Not the academic part. Look, I'll explain rabbinic school some other time.

So I came back to the Bay Area. And decided to work for the Jewish community. And become a great Jewish feminist writer. And possibly also a non-profit director.

This did not work so well. Like crime, working for the Jewish community does not pay. Also, I could not get hired most of the time.

So I started taking jobs doing things in corporate offices. This did not pay much, but it did sort of pay. It was also boring as hell. And I was not good at it, except for being a receptionist. I am one hell of a good receptionist. But that's another story.

So at some point I decided to become a high school teacher. I went back to school for my teaching credential. I got my teaching credential. I LOVED getting my teaching credential. I was a kick-ass grad student. Then I finished the program and had to get a job.

Apparently I am a better grad student than a teacher. I got hired. I got fired. I got hired. I got fired. I got hired. I got fired. (My parents have detailed explanations about why these firings do not reflect on my teaching skills. I'm just going to leave it be.) And I got hired again. I like my current school. I hope they are not going to fire me, because my nerves won't take much more of this.

I'm also not so sure I want to be a high school teacher. I like kids. I like educators.

I just don't like spending all this time in the classroom, controlling the kids, babbling about literature and grammar. It's not quite...IT.

So I'm in the process of applying to do an MFT.

It occurred to me today that if I continue in the counseling/therapy track, this might actually be a way to pull some of my major interests--adolescents, being a grad student, yiddishkeit, all that.

Maybe I could do a Ph.D. Maybe I could get a degree in Jewish studies. (Tried that once, applied to an MA course. Was rejected on the grounds that after a year of rabbinic school they didn't think I had the equivalent of a year of college Hebrew. That was a truly interesting conversation.) Maybe I could put it all together, have a therapy practice, and teach at USF, and write books about Jewish life. You think?

I'm really looking for that window right now.


wbs said...

blooking forward to the post about rabbinical school

The Court Jester said...

Your career arc sounds way too familiar to me. I know the story.