For the month of March, I am participating in Fabulous Finds by Tiffany’s 31 Day Blog Challenge. Today’s prompt: What is your dream job?
When I hear “dream job,” I think about impressive, hard-to-attain things like multi-platinum singer, respected politician, or owner of a business. I almost sort of wish that my answer was something like that, because I don’t feel like my dream job has legitimacy, a feeling Gretchen Rubin writes about in her amazing book The Happiness Project:
I have an idea of who I wish I were, and that obscures my understanding of who I actually am. Sometimes I pretend even to myself to enjoy activities that I don’t really enjoy, such as shopping, or to be interested in subjects that don’t much interest me, such as foreign policy. And worse, I ignore my true desires and interests.
Basically, I feel like the majority of people would never in a thousand years consider what I hold as a dream job to be worthy of such desire, or even something they feel would be enjoyable.
However, when I imagine myself in what is traditionally thought of as a highly ambitious dream job – top lawyer, famous Broadway star, governor of Ohio – all I can think of is the following excerpt from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love:
Still, despite all this, traveling is the great true love of my life. I have always felt, ever since I was sixteen years old and first went to Russia with my saved-up babysitting money, that to travel is worth any cost or sacrifice. I am loyal and constant in my love for travel, as I have not always been loyal and constant in my other loves. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless newborn baby – I just don’t care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it’s mine. Because it looks exactly like me. It can barf all over me if it wants to – I just don’t care.
When I read that, I was shouting in my head. “YES! YES! I totally, 100% understand and agree!” Except – not about travel. About teaching. And coaching school sports. And volunteering at school things. And private tutor sessions. And anything else in that arena.
My dream job is to be an educator. For several years, I thought I would only be really happy in the profession of education if I was teaching 9-12 social studies. While it is still true that social studies is the content area I have the greatest passion for, I have come to realize I don’t necessarily enjoy teaching social studies as much as I just enjoy teaching. Lately I have worked in depth with math, a subject I hated with a passion for the majority of my life, but still greatly enjoyed every single minute of it because I was teaching. I was helping students understand difficult concepts, I was helping them build life skills, I was being a supporter and cheerleader in their lives. Social studies, math, low ability, gifted – it doesn’t matter. Now, do I still want to restrict my experience to grades 7-12? Yes, I am for sure best suited to work with students of that age group, but I am seeing the exact material and the audience within those boundaries matter less and less to me. While I hope that means I am becoming a stronger educator, I am just grateful it means I can truly enjoy every day in my current position as a district substitute.
What is your dream job?