Episode 1: Mid 20’s Crisis

 

Welcome to Episode 1 of my mid-20’s crisis.

I didn’t know that a mid-20’s crisis was a thing until my friends who are not much older but definitely wiser informed that it most definitely IS a thing. Fantastic.

Let’s look at the timeline here…

  • 8-years-old: decide to do something in music when I grow up
  • 13-years-old: decide to be a choir teacher when I grow up
  • 22-years-old: first gig teaching choir right out of college
  • 24-years-old:  bought a house and got a dog
  • 25-years-old: start a graduate degree in education
  • 26-years-old: begin remodeling the house

Set for life. Right? WRONG. Oh boy, oh boy… was I wrong.

I attribute this astounding follow through to two things – stubbornness and fear. I was too stubborn to not follow through, and being a teacher has decent job security and benefits. Couple that with being afraid I would fail at something else, and you have a recipe for the straight and narrow.

Make no mistake, I do not regret pursuing my education, or my experiences in music, or even my experiences teaching. I have zero regrets about my current graduate program (done July 2018) because it is challenging and impacting me as a human, not just as an educator.

Cue the crisis: I had an epiphany today that what I love about teaching is NOT my students.

GASP.

I DO love my students. They are amazing human beings. They deserve the world.

But I wondered, did I still really feel convinced that I love teaching? Or am I just supposed to feel that way?

In order to get to the bottom of my restlessness, I had to change the conversation in my head. I stopped focusing on what I love about teaching, and allowed myself to admit that I do not love teaching! It’s an interesting thing, switching out ‘love’ with ‘value.’ So here is the new conversation: what do I VALUE about my current profession? What I came up with is this:

  • Leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Mentoring
  • Creativity
  • Problem Solving
  • Project Management
  • Professional Development

Now that I’ve had this realization I’m not entirely sure what to do with it. I have some ideas but I suppose it all remains to be seen. I know whatever I end up pursuing, whether it be further opportunities in the education field or something else entirely, I can say without a doubt what I need in order to find value in my work.