Aug 7, 2008

But I'm not like you!

Those were the words a 15 year old female student said to me today...well, there was an eye roll involved as well. We were talking about staying in school, making better choices and trying to figure out what is next in her life. And that's when she said..."but I'm not like you!" She was trying to explain to me why she keeps failing classes, runs away from home and doesn't care what any of the adults in her life have to say. She doesn't know what she wants to do as an adult and therefore quitting and running away seem like the only choices available.

I wanted to tell her that this job was the last choice on my life of career options. The truth is that I never had any idea what I wanted to do with my life except for make a difference. And nobody ever ever asked me or offer any suggestions. When I took my first school counseling position...I made it very clear that this was only going to be a temporary position. Well that was a second Masters degree and a job title change and 9 years ago. These were the things that I wanted to tell her...but I felt like she would just roll her eyes again and miss my very poignant point! So instead, I simply tried to explain that running away from problems, quitting school...those were just excuses to hide from her life. Because no matter where she ran...the problems will still be there, and instead she will just be alone dealing with those problems. And quitting school will prove nothing to the people in her life, but will make her feel like she can always quit on herself. And more than anything...I tried to explain to her that life goes on regardless of your job satisfaction, personal stability or financial obligations.

She left my office angry and annoyed, but promised to think about showing up for classes next week...I guess it's a start. I also realized that this wasn't my dream job, but I do have opportunity to make a difference. And my life is more than just a job...it's about family, friends, love, adventure, laughter, hope...it's much bigger than knowing what you want to be as an adult.
She left my office and I was thinking...who is doing what they always dreamed of and do they like it? How many people love what they do? And does quitting really have benefits?

13 comments:

PinkPiddyPaws said...

I actually ENVY people who know just what they want to be "when they grow up" and follow through with those dreams. Most of the time, I think about how I just "fall into" the work and life situations I have. No real rhyme or reason, just kind of random. but hey, it works. :)

Stacey said...

good on you.... you are doing a great thing! x

Moe Wanchuk said...

Trust me, you're not the only one thinking about your job. I hate mine, but I'm lucky in that I get paid very well, and I'm stuck to that. I can't quit because of the money. My fixed costs are just too high. Sometimes I just want to say "Fk it." But I havent.......yet!

us 2 said...

ijust love your blog it always hits home for me............your the best....take care

Gwen said...

I wanted to be a writer. I'm in law. Litigation to be more specific. The only similarities are that both require a talent for bullshitting.

Maybe you should have told her those things - the truth has a way of making people pay attention. Not that I feel qualified to tell you how to do your job, or to counsel kids.

Maurey said...

I mostly love what I do - most days. I have always wanted to be a writer, and I'm lucky enough to actually get paid for it.

I think I'm rare, tho.

Keeper Of All Things said...

You really have a hard job!!! Sounds like you do it well.

Suzel said...

I thought for sure I'd be a famous singer right now. Turns out a lot of recording studios actually require you to be able to carry a note. So unfair!

Jennifer said...

I remember how hard it can be to motivate this type of student. Would you believe I had 15 and 16 year olds in the 8th grade?!

So, did she show up?

WendyB said...

Oof, I think I remember saying that to my parents.

patsy said...

I'm not doing anything closely resembling my degrees. While I don't love it, it has afforded me lots of opportunites.

Whiskeymarie said...

My job is enviably, disgustingly awesome, and the pay rocks, but it isn't really what I envisioned for myself at all. But, I'm still relatively young and if I choose to go down another path there is still time. I know there are bigger and better things waiting for me, but I also know they're not going to find me- I have to find them. For me, just because a job is "good on paper" doesn't mean it necessarily translates to "good for me forever". For now? Yes. Forever? Not so much.

Stacie said...

i BOW to you for not choosing this profession, but for doin it...you are making a difference. Might not sink in to every person you come in contact with, but it will sink with some and that is AWESOME.

YOU RULE.