Listening to your heart, when your head’s talking loudly

It’s really hard to listen to your heart, even more so when your head is babbling on about security, employment, economy, and any number of other factors that you should be considering.  The noise gets so loud that you have to purge some of it.  I’m lucky that I have a few great people who listen and give advice, all with a smile and a shake of the head over my predicaments.

So I’ve been talking it out… at length, I know.  I let it out here… I let it out with my friends at work.  I have been emailing my friend, the one who is eerily like me on a number of topics.

I looked at the IPT certificate that I could do in a year… it’s 4 classes.  I even looked at the MS-IPT.  I read the graduates comments and testimonials.  In a different time and place, I would have gone for it.  Things may happen that make it my best choice in the future, but right now it doesn’t feel right.

I looked at the EdTECH certificate programs, but if I’m not certified to teach, I won’t be able to use them. 

Ms. Kellie talked to me yesterday.  She questioned the program head for the IT tech program I was considering and he told her there aren’t jobs in this area for graduates fresh out of that program.  Now this is disturbing because isn’t that what technical training is all about??

Anyway (small digression), she told me, in firm terms, that I need to get my MA in education.  She got all “Mama Kel” on me and told me that it was best for my family and best for me. 

Here’s what I’ve been thinking over the last few days (and trust me, not much else has been able to penetrate this worry fog I’ve got going on)…

Yes, I could do the speed certification program and end up teaching secondary English.  It’d be a course of study involving Summer 2009, Fall 2009, and Spring 2010.

I would hate it.

I don’t want to teach English. 

I want to work with young children.   I know there are plenty of people out there who either don’t understand the distinction or think “Holy Crap, no way would I want to work with young children.”

This isn’t about “playing” at being a teacher or some kind of misguided rosy picture about what working with them would be like.  I can look at my son’s JFK director, Ms. Anna, and see the fatigue each day.  She deals with young children all day, every day of the week.  It is exhausting and HARD work. 

Hell.  I live with two of them.  Both Todd and I have experienced the “stay at home” parent thing and it’s rough work. 

Here’s the why of it all…

It IS hard work but it’s also incredibly amazing.  I am fascinated by language acquisition and speech development.  Reading and problem-solving…  Learning through play and mimicry.  I have a hard time understanding how people DON’T find it absorbing and fascinating.

That’s the point.  I do. 

I’ve tried fighting it out logically.  Hell… I chose Library and Information Science logically.  I researched… I interviewed.  I investigated the career paths and I looked at the personality needed for it.  I was methodical and careful.

I won’t say I hated it but I will say this, I couldn’t find my passion.  I wanted it to be the right path.  I really did.  After going through all that work, not to mention the money, I had it in my mind that it HAD to work.

Then Todd couldn’t find a job and our downward spiral began. 

Money was the first reason I had to pull out, but it was just a part of the whole picture.  If I had been truly engaged and in the right field of study, I would have done what I needed to stay in the program.

It opened the door to doubt and once I began digging around in my brain, the truth gradually emerged.

The program I’m in, starting back this spring, has six other people in it besides me.  Early Childhood isn’t glamorous… it’s sticky, messy, hard work for little money.  It’s also knowing that if you work hard, you might be the one who gets a child excited about reading stories… you might be the one who gets a child excited to be in school where a lot of doors can be unlocked.

My heart talked louder and louder yesterday, until I realized that I had to listen closely.  So the fee waiver might evaporate and I may be stuck doing something that eats me up a bit.  I’m going to put together a calendar with my goals on it.  I’m hanging it right next to my desk and I’m going to cross each day off as I come to it.  I’ll figure out some “carrots” for myself – things to keep me going when I am tired and grumpy and ready to jump ship here at the office.

I’ll seek out those cliche phrases that motivational posters have and plaster the bulletin board with them.  I’ll tell myself, every day, that I have good reasons for doing this.  Two of them are my boys. 

Todd told me this morning that I’m making the right choice, not just for me but because of what is happening in the economy.  My target graduation date is May 2012.   As I told my friend, Helen, this morning… I’m going for it, come hell or high water.



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