Is this what a midlife crisis looks like?
I'm a year and change from my 40th birthday and have been really questioning the direction my life is going lately. Not my personal life, but my work life. When I was planning my life (and I've always been a planner) I don't think I thought past the "get married, have kids" plan and I'm lucky enough to have a supportive, loving husband and two great (so far--please God, please god) kids. I don't think I thought past the time when my kids wouldn't need me so constantly. I don't think I thought I'd have a life of my own again. I know I didn't think it would go by so fucking fast.
So here I am with the "perfect" full-timish job that allows me to be creative and cook practically anything I want (fun!), that allows me to be home with the kids in the summer (FUN!) and to have occasional breaks when college is not in session (essential). That has hours that are flexible enough that I can even be there when the kids get home from school, with the only caveat that I have to go back to work to finish dinner. It doesn't pay a whole lot and doesn't have any monetary benefits but I've always thought of those breaks and the flexibility as the perks of the job. I've always described it as the perfect "mom job" and it is.
But lately I've been thinking that I don't want a Mom Job. I want a Jen Job. Something that will of course be benefitial to my family, yes, but also something that will enhance my own life, will challenge me in ways I'm not feeling challenged now. Something that might have grownup things like a 401K or a dental plan.
And something that does not involve a hot kitchen or wearing pants that occasionally smell like meat.
What is this job? I wish I knew. I haven't done anything (with the exception of some major volunteering) other than cooking in my entire career so I'm really going outside the ole comfort zone. Thankfully, my parents were wise enough to tell me to keep going to college even though I wanted to change gears and go to culinary school. They were generous enough to allow me (and to pay for me) to do both. So for 16 years I've been a chef with a Sociology degree. I never thought I'd "use" my degree, but now I'm so glad I have it. Maybe it'll actually come in to play and my dad can stop wondering exactly why he paid for it if I was going to bake cakes for a living.
Here are my ideas, so far, of what I think I might be interested in and perhaps good at:
- Guidance counselor; I would shoot myself if I worked in an elementary or middle school, but I think I would enjoy being part of a teenager's life (all the planning, all the angst..)
So what am I doing about finding a JJ? I must finally be sick of hearing myself whine about this because I've made an appointment for a Career Counseling session at the local community college. I have no idea what they'll do for me. I'm hoping it's not going to be a What Color is Your Parachute session. I want someone to take a look at my list up there and tell me practical steps to get there-- or at least to find if I want go get there. The thought of going back to school is TERRIFYING to me (mostly because I'm in my pajamas by 7 every night and quite happy to NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE), but I've come to the conclusion that it might be the thing I have to do.
Why does it seem like it would be so much easier to buy a sports car and have an affair?