Friday, January 15, 2010


On the ride home from the airport the other cousin and I were discussing our degrees..or rather..the lack of use-age of our degrees.

She has a degree in Life Sciences. And after she finished this...she spent five years in South Africa getting her Veterinarian qualifications. She's now moved back to Canada and while her husband continues his education and is specializing in a specific vet practice, she's staying at home to take care of her aging father who suffers from Alzheimers.

I on the other hand have a double major in History and Psychology. Oh - and before you point out how virtually useless that degree from my perfectly respectable university is.....I also have a Bachelors degree in Education. Useful in the practical sense - I think yes.

Unless of're me.

Because if you're me..then you still don't really know what you're doing with your life. You've got it generally figured out - at least until anyone asks you a question pertinant to the real world and your position in it - and then you just stare at them gasping like a fish out of water.

Now this cousin and I were discussing how completely ridiculous it is that people judge us for our choices. People who think that she should put her father in a home and get a "real" job. (I dare you to even try to spend a day doing what she does - seriously one of the most difficult and heart wrenching things to have to go through EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.) And of course...the people who ask me if I've secured a teaching position yet - and try not to gasp when I tell them I haven't even glanced at the job postings.

From the time I was a little girl...everytime I turned around..someone told me I would be a wonderful teacher. I was so good with children, I have so much patience....and on and on and on. And when I volunteered in schools, teachers would write my reference letters and tell me how I had so much potential and how wonderful I would do. Once in teachers college, my professors praised my ideas and gave me glorious feedback of my teaching abilities.

But still - I wanted more. It made me happy, I loved it..yes...and it was something I was passionate about..that I AM passionate about...but I just couldn't see myself doing that for the rest of my TWENTY TWO. There were too many places, too many things that I loved and wanted to explore for me to settle down.

When I left for Zurich I thought that in a year I would come back, find myself a teaching job and settle down.

But something happened - something changed.

I realized that just because I had all of these degrees, that just because people told me it was something I was good at, that just because that's the way that I or other people had pictured my life path wasn't necessarily the right reason to do something.

What it all boiled down to...was that how we each defined our lives wasn't dependant on how many degrees we have. Or what we're doing with them's that we both feel GOOD about our lives and where we are..and know what we won't have regrets and that we are happy.

I've realized in the last year that maybe there are other things that I love in life MORE than teaching. That maybe there are ways to balance maintaining them all in my life...and maybe that's okay.

That it's okay to not base all of your decisions on money and society's value of success.

Because I'm happy where I am - I really am.

And nothing is worth more than that.

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