What was I born to do?
First, a bit of a refresher from my last post. I'm looking for the career of my dreams which gives me joy, money and flow in working conditions that I love.
Let's test some things out under this matrix.
Joy - there are parts of being a Law Librarian that I love. I love helping people one on one and really connecting with them. I also love being part of a learned profession which uses the education that I have.
Money - This is the only career that thus far I've been able to make a successful living in.
Flow - I sometimes feel academic flow - like, my education has led me to be good at legal research.
Working Conditions - I hate the working conditions of being a law librarian. I hate going to an office every day and springing into action when someone needs me. I hate not being able to work from home and I hate not being able to chaperone my daughter's field trips. I hate hate hate commuting, and I don't like eating lunch out every day (and, yes, I've thought of packing my lunch, but that really never happens.)
Joy: I love being a spin instructor. I love making playlists before my classes and being in front of the room motivating my group. I love exercising and getting paid for it. I love connecting with my students in groups and individually.
Money: I make about $4,000 per year being a spin instructor. It definitely won't support the expensive Bay Area life, but it's a nice little extra bit. I also get access to the health club I teach at for free. I should take advantage of this more.
Flow: Complete flow. I lose all sense of time when I'm planning a playlist and when I'm teaching in front of a class.
Working Conditions - Health clubs are kind of weird places with people sweating, and somewhat odd people as authority figures. But, for the few hours a week that I am there, I don't mind the oddities.
Helping people in crisis / transition
Joy: I love helping people in crisis. I can point to many instances of this over the past 20+ years.
- Helping domestic violence victims escape their violent homes
- Visiting women in prison who killed their abusers
- Working as a doula helping women give birth
- One day, while on a walk with Scott and Star, we saw a woman on a bike come down the hill. She swerved to avoid hitting a squirrel. She fell and was injured. I stayed with her and supported her until the paramedics arrived. She and her family have since become friends of ours.
- A similar situation to the one above. After work one day, I was walking to bart in downtown San Francisco, and saw a man on his bike fall off and start having seizures. I stayed with him, and directed people in the crowd to call 911 and move his bike. I let him use my coat as a pillow and wiped sweat from his head. I was his support person until emergency personnel arrived.
- Last week, I witnessed another accident and was able to help. A woman in a car hit a woman on a motorcycle. I supported the woman who was hit until the paramedics arrived.
- In August, I started as a volunteer for the Crisis Text Line. For at least 4 hours per week, I support people going through crises. These crises include: homework stress, eating disorders, election grief, suicide, self-harm and more.
Money: I have never made any money doing this kind of work.
Flow: I am completely in flow when I help people in crisis/trauma. I feel competent, steady and useful.
Working Conditions: My "working conditions" have been quite varied and I've never minded any of them.
Joy: I love creating things. I am a maker at heart. Currently, I'm obsessed with quilting, but in the past, I've become enamored with jewelry making, knitting, crochet, sewing clothes, mosaics, and making jewelry. I love working with colors and textures. I love subverting the consumer culture.
Money: I've never made money through my crafting. Recently, I was talking to a local kids' store owner and she said that she would be interested in selling my things. So, I made a baby quilt for her store to sell. She loved it and offered to sell it at $60. Honestly, this felt insulting to me. With the hours of work and the cost of materials, $60 barely would cover my costs and my time. I asked her to price it at $150 which she happily did, but it's been in the store for over a month now and hasn't sold.
Flow: From envisioning my designs to picking my materials to doing the actual crafting, I am in complete flow when working on my craft projects.
Working Conditions: I love working quietly at home in my craft area that my husband carved out for me in our living room.
Working with moms
Joy: I love working with and being with moms. These are "my people". I understand moms and feel like we speak the same language.
Money: I started a little company called KinderCycle. It didn't make much money, but I enjoyed helping families getting rid of stuff they were done with and letting them get stuff they want.
Flow: I could spend most of my time just with moms. Not the kids; just the moms.
Working Conditions: Not really applicable here.
I'm not sure where this all leads me, but it was interesting to go through this approach.