Tuesday, March 20, 2007

When I grow up

A friend of mine recently sent me an e-mail quiz. One of the questions was: Name four jobs you've held.
My answer was:
1. grocery clerk
2. lawyer
3. waitress
4. archaeologist
You'll have to guess which of the four is my current job.

The question got me thinking about my son, who is in his "gap year" between high school and....whatever. Gap year is a British euphemism for "What the fuck do I do now?"

At age 20, my son has already tried more jobs than I have in my lifetime. They have included, grocery clerk, (do you see a pattern here?) bus boy, babysitter, ski lift operator, pita sandwich maker, surveyor's assistant, various construction jobs, farm labourer, and probably a few I've forgotten. Some of these were just part time jobs while in high school, but what a collection. Some lasted a few months, some only a few days. He left them all by his own choice, except for the surveying job, where he was laid off because winter slowed the work down. But he had already decided it was not for him. This year is meant to help him sort out what he wants to take in college, or even whether to go. To, you know, find a direction. Three words he must hate passionately by now.

Mind you he has narrowed it down some. Currently his career goals are: "No way can I work 9 to 5 for 8 hours a day." Well, it's a direction of sorts.

I am officially reinstating "Today's Dream Travel Destination". It's the Sahara Desert. Actually any desert, anywhere, no matter how miserable or war-torn. BECAUSE WE ARE DROWNING HERE, AND SUNSHINE IS JUST A FADING MEMORY.


Alda said...

It's a difficult transition, definitely. My middle step daughter (who is 21) is in that agonizing place right now and oh, how well I recall how it was. I'm sure he'll find his way in the end, though.

Diana said...

Took my husband 6 years of college, 2 majors (neither of which directly relate to his career) a very dull job as a banker (Charles? A banker??) to pay the bills, back to grad school and finally a job working with really messed up kids to realize that what he really loved was education and working with kids. (This was a guy who skipped the absolute maximum number of classes in high school he could and still get to graduate.) Now he's happy and bossing around kids and teachers as a principal, having taught all areas of school, public and private, special ed and regular ed, grade school through high school, as well as a year in the district central office as director of student services. He's also back in grad school. Again.

Your son will find his calling, as I know you know. It's just hard to watch, at least it is for me, but I'm one of those insufferable people who knew what they wanted to do since they were 14. So, I'm guessing you're a lawyer as I think you mentioned working downtown in an office.

Jazz said...

Your son will find what he wants to do eventually, even if he does muddle around for a while.

As for you, I'd say you're a lawyer.

And I'll follow you to your dream destination, not because of rain, but because every time I'm in the desert I feel, for some reason I can't define, totally connected, totally home. Maybe I was a lizard in another life.

Rozanne said...

Have you seen Michael Palin's Sahara Desert DVD? Quite enjoyable, although I don't know if it will make you want to go there or make you want stay put.

A really lovely, and much more accessible desert is the Sonora Desert, just south of Tucson, Arizona. It's absolutely lovely in April and the temps are still below 100 F at that time of year. All the cacti are in bloom then, too.

Jocelyn said...

I've missed you! I just saw you commented at CSL's site, so here I came, a'runnin'. I hope the "boring medical stuff" isn't anything bad.

Tell your son that college teaching may be for him, if he's not cut out for a 9-5 life.

Voyager said...

Alda, I hope you're right. I can't empathise or help much though, because I knew from age 7 what I wanted to be, and just went for it without a second thought. And then did a career pirouette at 29 into something totally different, but again without any questions or hesitations. I must be missing the angst and indecision genes. Not necessarily a good thing.

Diana, Ohmigod, if it takes my son 6 years of college, grad school and then grad school again I'll be begging all of you for money.

Jazz, What worries me is that between now and "eventually" could mean living in our basement playing gaming on the computer!

Rozanne, I'll look for the DVD. I've passed through Sonora, but only spent two days there. I would love to sleep out in a desert under the stars.

Oh Jocelyn, the words "college teaching" and my son seem to be two different languages. But who knows?

Thanks for the words of encouragement.

CS said...

I had maybe a dozen different majors in college. It's a fine time in life to waffle around - he likely won't have that luxury later on.

A desert? Spring itme in east Tennesse is one of the rare times I don't even want to be anywhere else.

Coffee-Drinking Woman said...

I'm thinking lawyer...

are you gonna tell us if we're right?

My gap year lasted more than a year, too. I seem to have landed on my feet, however.