I remember growing up and worrying about how I was going to support myself when I became an adult. My sister and my brothers all seemed to know that they were going to marry and have children. I just felt that I would probably never marry, and I absolutely knew I would never have kids. (When my doctor told me in my early 30’s that I could not have children, I was neither surprised nor disappointed.) When I met the man who is now my husband when I was 38, I suddenly knew I was going to marry him, but that is another story for another time.
Back to my childhood worries. When I was a kid, I worried a lot about how I would support myself. My brothers seemed to know they would probably be teachers and coaches (they both work in education now), and my sister seemed to know she would work with old people (she runs a nursing home), but I had no clue. I thought about being a social studies teacher, but everyone told me I was too smart to be a teacher. (In retrospect, I think that is a sad commentary on the priorities of our culture.) During my junior year of high school, I ended up taking an accounting class due to a scheduling snafu, and I LOVED it. That is when I decided to be an accountant, but deep down I still wanted to teach one day. When I graduated from college, I felt like I was limited in what I could do as a tax accountant without law school, so I went to law school. Again, I loved it, but deep down, I wanted to teach. After practicing law a few years, I earned my Masters degree in Accounting, but I still wanted to teach. Eventually, I go the chance to work at the university as a full-time accounting professor, but still many family and friends questioned my decision. Did I take a pay cut? Yes Was being a college professor less prestigious than being a tax attorney? To some, perhaps. Did I care? No. I realized that when I was growing up, I spent far too much worrying about what my family and few friends thought about me. As I have grown older, I have learned I have to live me.
I am finally doing what I thought I would be doing when I was a kid — being a teacher.