Still searching my soul

I admire people who know exactly what they want to do. Maybe it is a long-term plan, but they know that someday they will get there. Or perhaps they have known since they were kids that this is what they were going to do, and they ended up doing it (this pretty much describes my brothers).

But me? I am still searching my soul, just as I have been doing, whether consciously or not, for years.

The substitute teaching thing is going okay. Most days I think this is what I want to do. I still want to make a difference, leave someone's (several someones, really) life better than it was before I came along. But I have some moments when the kids are so incredibly disrespectful that I think there is no way I can do this full time. At the very least, I am glad that I don't get called more than three days a week, because sometimes even two days feels like five. Seriously. And on days like yesterday, when I have nary a lesson plan to follow and I am forced to make it up as I am going along, desperate to remember what I learned 20 years ago, I think it is just too much for too little.

I think part of the problem is that I am fairly good at a few things but not really great at any one thing. Well, I am a really good proofreader (and editor), and I am certain anyone who has worked with me would agree, but because I have done so little of that in the last year and because most companies don't want just a proofreader (plus there is very little money in doing just that), well, that kind of sinks me.

I like to write, as is evidenced by this blog, and I did some writing in my last job, but I am certainly not the best or most experienced writer out there. Sometimes my posts are long-winded (which I fully disclosed in my blog description!) and sometimes they go from idea to idea with no warning, which is pretty much the way my life is. But even if I were a great writer, as I have also mentioned, I am just not a fan of a range of technology, and no one wants to hire someone who is just literate in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and little else. Sadly, I recently came across a job posting for a technical writer with the following requirements: Adobe Frame Maker, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Indesign, Microsoft Word and Windows; plus a working knowledge of Adobe Flash, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and CorelDraw desired. IMO, these people want way more than a writer, but if that is the case with most writing jobs, I can forget going in that direction.

I liked project coordination and was pretty good at that, but I just don't think I have it in me to go back into project management. I am not good at being tough on people or calling them on something. I obsess about things I should not. And I fret too much about the money (although that is not necessarily a bad thing in that position).

Whatever it is I end up doing, now understanding that I don't have to stay there for years on end, I am going to have to stop holding out for a job with "teachers' hours." I want to be with my kid as much as possible, and it pains me to think that I may, out of necessity, have to get a job that no longer allows me to help her with her homework, take her to the park in the afternoons, play with her in the evenings, and help her get ready for bed and tuck her in at night.



Lynnette said…
Oh, Facie, I feel for you. Maybe at this point, you need to apply for a wide variety of jobs? I can't remember if you've tried this route yet or not. For instance, there may be a perfect project coordinator or management job out there for you that you would enjoy and excel at, but you're thinking that they're all going to be like the one you had. But that's not true. There could be a company out there in desperate need of someone with your exact skill set and strengths... think more like maybe an office manager, or a coordinator that does work like I do. I think you'd be great at my job with your memory and attention to detail. Now, whether these jobs interest you or not is another story, but if they do, don't give up. There is something out there for you, but you need to apply to a lot of jobs to be able to learn about a lot of different jobs to be able to figure out where you fit. It's going to be hard work, but I know you'll find your place. And I'm here to support you every step of the way!
Sherri said…
Have you thought about project manager on a web site or a content manager of some kind. I bet you would like that - lots of copy :-) - and... would need a teacher's / editor's eye.... Just a thought.
ashley said…
Also just wanted to add that you shouldn't let those silly technological requirements keep you from applying for a job that you might otherwise be interested in! I'm sure they're looking for people who have a base-level understanding of those programs, and I know you could pick up what you need to know in no time flat. Apply if you're interested, and if you get an interview and they ask about technical skills, just tell them what you do know, and tell them confidently that you could quickly learn anything else you need to know.
Facie said…
Thanks for the comments and ideas. As for the job with all the required skills, the truth is, even though I would be interested in working for that company, domestic and international travel is also required. I hate flying, and, clearly, I hate being away from my family.

I also really do not want to work full-time/40 hours, though, as I have said, I am surming I won't be able to get that wish.

A few months ago, I applied to a handful of companies that did not have any job openings but proclaiming my skills nonetheless. No dice there. I also was pretty confident I was going to get a small proofreading gig (just to keep the skills up, make some money and hopefully connections). But, alas, as has been the case numerous times, the person never wrote back to my follow-up email.

I know I need to keep trying; it is just hard not to get discouraged.
joely said…
Just keep being couragous and know that if you are following your heart and intuition you are on the right path. Do not let other peoples dogmas dictate how you react or think. Your heart and intuition already know the direction they want you to go so just follow it.
I wish I was a good editor, I feel like I spend hours proof reading and my husband will find 3 mistakes in 1 minute after I think I am done.

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