Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you had made different choices?
More and more lately, I have been having such thoughts. In particular, about my choice of career. While I am not unhappy with the way things are in my life, I contemplate what would be different if, say, I had pursued a nursing career, or, a veterinary career, or a law career.
Becoming a Spanish teacher was actually the furthest thing from my mind when I entered college. Or, during my childhood, for that matter.
In fact, when I was about ten years old, I wanted to become a nurse. I had an older cousin I looked up to, and she was in nursing school at the time. So, I decided I wanted to become a nurse, too.
My Dear Mom told me, “You will most likely work in a large urban area, with many Spanish-speakers. In order to communicate with them, you will need to learn Spanish. The opportunity for me to learn some basic Spanish presented itself via a six-week enrichment course at my elementary school: Two students from the local high school I would ultimately attend myself taught the course on a voluntary basis. It was fun, and thought that was the end of my Spanish classes. But, no. Dear Mommy said, “Let’s sign you up for Spanish in the seventh grade. You don’t need to earn credits towards high school graduation during seventh and eighth grades. If you decide you don’t like Spanish, you don’t have to continue it in high school.”
But, I did like it. Not only that, I discovered I had a very strong aptitude for Spanish, and, for language learning in general. So much so, I pursued my language studies in high school to the most advanced level, which led me to earn a liberal arts degree in Spanish.
My Dear Mom recently told me that she thinks that my career life, not to mention my life in general, would have been easier if I had become a nurse. Teaching in independent schools has not been easy. Honestly, it has been unbearable at times. Since I turned 50 in 2015, I contemplate, more and more, if I made the right career choice. Yet, there are many things I enjoy about teaching. And, aside from some of the people I have had the dreadful misfortune of encountering over the past 22 years during my independent school teaching career, teaching overall has afforded me many wonderful opportunities to learn, grow, and develop, not only as a professional, but also as a person. Not to mention that I would not be the person I am today had I not become a teacher.
Still, I was feeling very low about my career when school ended in June. So much so, that I was unable to identify even one redeeming aspect. And then, I forgave myself, which allowed me to put things in proper perspective.
Do you have regrets about your choice of career? Would you change anything? Have you forgiven yourself? Let me know about it in the Comments. Thank you!