Besides the sense of doom I get when I think about our finances, nothing feels more suffocating than this question. I don’t have an answer. I have escape fantasies. Most men with a pulse do. But deep down, there is nothing that is calling my name. The phrase “follow your bliss” keeps creeping up into well meaning conversations and it’s starting to piss me off. It is beginning to sound a little too much like “happily ever after” for my taste.
Still, I am an optimist. So for a moment I want to believe that there is a job out there that is aligned with both my talents and idiosyncrasies. How do I find out what that is? Every time I take a personality test that promises to find what color my parachute is - the result is always the same: have you ever considered a career in teaching?
I’m not entirely giving up on teaching. I was a good teacher once. Teaching used to be such a soulful job for me. But… I don’t like what I have become as a teacher. Over the last few years I became the school disciplinarian. It’s a role that I was unfortunately good at. It used to mean working through some tough emotions with kids or helping them gain perspective on difficult situations. But something has shifted in my community. Discipline has turned into a public stoning- good teachers want to see rules enforced and consequences dished out without the nuanced responses that seemed to characterize our staff in the past. All for the sake of clarity and consistency. I’m not knocking clarity and consistency. I just think that they live awfully close to expediency and righteousness.
The catch is, I might be the worst offender.