How are you doing? Today I have a different kind of post for you. I'm having a sort of quarter-life-crisis, and I could really use some advice. Ready?
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As many of you know, I started a once of a lifetime job this past summer. I've spent the past few months traveling around the country, working with young leaders at college campuses across the country. This was my dream job for years, it is still surreal that it's what I'm doing. Every day I wake up feeling extremely grateful and amazed at what I get to call my work. If you would like to read more about my job as a Leadership Consultant, check out these previous posts: 1/2/3.
My plan was to travel for a year (this job is only for people straight out of college - with the option of traveling for second year), move to Madison, and start looking for an elementary teaching job - that is what I got my degree in after all.
That plan is over a year old - and needs to be scrapped.
^^^ The fact that I even just typed that is horrifying to me. If any of you knew me prior to my adventures on the road, I was perhaps one of the most uptight, scheduled, preplanned people on the planet (cheers to the accidental alliteration). But it's true. I need to find a new plan. No, I don't want to abandon teaching. I love to teach. I love children. I love seeing them learn. That is something that will never, ever change. Sure, I like Madison too. It's a beautiful city. But I don't need moving there to be in my plan. I'll move wherever the hell I want to.
At this point you're probably thinking, "Okay, Traci. We get it. You don't have to move to Madison. This doesn't quite seem like the existential quarter-life-crisis you mentioned earlier."
Here's the thing. This whole lack of a plan thing has opened up a world of possibilities. I'll list them out for you to make it easier.
- Go to grad school for student affairs in Virginia
-Travel as a consultant for a second year
-Move back to Wisconsin and teach elementary school
I'm totally conflicted. I've been trying to figure out which one I'm going to choose for weeks now. I've exhausted countless pro/con lists (in true Rory Gilmore style), spent hours on the phone with my boss, my parents, my friends, and laid in bed awake just thinking. My friends have been lovely, and super supportive. They say things like:
But here's the thing... I'm passionate about all three. This has been the most amazing year of my life. I have learned so much, become comfortable with who I am as a person, and really challenged myself. This job is one of the most wonderful things in the world - and I would love to do it for another year. Grad school. I would enjoy jumpstarting my career in Student Affairs so much - especially if I get into my number 1 school. With this path, I'd get to use the skills I've learned as a consultant, and apply it to an education - and ultimately a career. Then there's teaching. It's what I spent 4 years of college learning how to do. It's something I love. It's something I never want to give up. But then again, I never want to give up traveling or student affairs either.... I'm truly passionate about all of my choices.
Then - there are the drawbacks to each option. Traveling takes me away from my family and friends at home - and puts certain aspects of my life on hold for another year. I'll turn 25 on the road. Grad school is expensive - and also postpones the start of a career. Teaching puts me in a career - but inhibits me from working towards another career that I would also love to have.
Oh... And I forgot. I have to decide if I want to travel again next year by the 15th of this month... Which is less than 4 days away... God help me.
Do any of you have another perspective I could look at all of this from? Are any of you going through something similar? How are you handling your quarter life crisis?I need to feel like I'm not alone here.
I don't even know if you guys like to read this kind of stuff from me - but I needed to reach out to my own little corner of the internet for some peace of mind.