Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What do I want to be when I grow up?

My new question these days is, What do I want to be when I grow up?

This is a bit of a personal post.... I am struggling a bit... if you have time, I would so love some feedback. oy.

Ok, so here goes.

Living in authentic me more and more and hearing my heart now, it's quite the question to ponder.

Before getting married and having kids, I started working really early in life. I have always wanted to have extra money... at 8 years old I worked a paper route, then worked as a carry out in a grocery story, then went to retail and worked at a clothing store, and then my last job I worked as a pharmacy technician for about 15 years.

My real desire tho was to one day find my life partner and become a mommy.

But even after my hub and I made the decision for me to be at home with our three lovies, I still found ways to generate extra income for us.
I have:
Cleaned houses and businesses
Sold tons of stuff on Ebay
Lead worship for all kinds of different events..retreats, conferences, etc...
Vocal stuff for different studio recordings.
Done a couple of photography gigs.

Just here and there stuff, but my honey had been the sole bread winner, and what I would bring in would be extra for clothes, vacation, date nights, etc...

But things have changed in the past few years.

A bit of background from our last few years:
My hub is not making the same money that he had once made.
He lost his job about 3 years ago, and now he needs my help even more. Being that he isn't on staff at a church anymore, and he is taking time away to heal and ask himself the same question that I am, finances are pretty tight.
Being in the ministry was his career. He made really good money doing it.
So now that we are in this season of taking time away from doing ministry and church staff stuff...maybe for forever...maybe not.

After he lost his job at the church, we stayed a float for about 6 months, but eventually had to file bankruptcy because of the drastic drop in income after my hub lost his job.
A crazy HUGE miracle has happened with that in that we have had the crazy privilege of living in our home for the past 2 years mortgage free.
Still no word from the bank, and we are keeping as quiet as can be so as to not draw attention..lol!

Anywho, all of that to say the momma has to go back to work.
So I have been asking myself what the heck do I want to do with my life.

What. Do. I. Want. To. Do.

Last year I had the idea of becoming a teacher's aide.
Figured it would be a great schedule with my kiddles in school...work while they are in school and be off when they are off.
Great idea, I thought! :)

So, I tootled off and got my certification, and applied everywhere I could.
I ended up landing a job at my son's school.
Began in the lunchroom, and eventually a job position opened up in the special ed dept.
Then I began working as a assistant to everybody in the special ed dept, until finally a teachers aide position opened in the resource room.

What's really fun, is that I got to try on 3 jobs in the span of 5 months.

Number one job.... Lunchroom monitor.
Setting up the lunchroom, wiping down tables, mopping floors, opening up packages and drinks for little hands.

My rating after working that for 5 months... not something I enjoyed altogether.
Loved the sweet faces I got to see everyday and love on.
Hated the messes and manual labor.
Dreaded going after a bit.

Number 2 job.... Special Education Clerk and Assistant
Description: go to girl for appointments to be set up between parents, reg ed teachers, and specialists. answering phones; making copies; organizing files; computer processing and typing

My rating after working that for 4 months.... not something I enjoy AT all.
Very little people interaction...staring at a computer for hours...feast or famine work load.
Realized how much I am NOT a secretary type personality.
Positive was that I enjoyed the quiet space after working in job number 3... I will tell you more about that in a sec.

Number 3 job... Teachers Aide to Special Education Resource Room
Description: aiding the SPED teacher, teaching my own groups of children, following curriculum everyday, making more copies, more computer time, planning lessons

My rating after working that for 2 months.... " I feel like I am homeschooling my children again."
I feel like I am going backwards... I had stepped away from teaching my own children because of major burn out...and now I am teaching AGAIN, except other people's children with intense needs.

3 jobs that I have decided are not for me.

Some observations about myself, and please tell me if I am being outrageous here...
I struggle intensely with having the same schedule everyday.
The clocking in and out...monday to friday and doing the same thing everyday, I feel sucks my soul right out of me.
I don't like teaching.
I am not gifted in teaching.
I am not a person that loves to be around other people's children all the time.
I find that I have a certain amount of "kid space", and when I worked at the school I felt I used it all up at the school, and when I got home, I didn't have any for my own kids.
I MADE myself have it, but it wasn't flowing at all.
I don't like making copies, setting up appointments or paper pushing AT ALL.
I have figured out that these are not jobs for authentic me.
I am wondering if I have a more artistic soul?
I feel very boxed in again.


I start back up at my clerk job and teachers aide job in 1 week.
I am dreading it....and am crying alot... I have to get myself pulled together here.

I am thankful for the provision, but I am dreading it, and have been asking God to help me with my perspective...that I would feel His grace in this next year of working.
I know that I can't do these jobs for forever without serious harm to my heart.
I know the amount of melt downs that will begin to happen.
I know I will be a not happy person, and eating will be harder and harder to stay away from.
I will long to numb my unhappiness.
The coping skills that I have shed, I know will be longing to be put back into motion.
The feelings I had, right after we started summer break were the same same feelings of overwhelmed, unhappy, melting down constantly, very overspent Amy that I wrote about in this post.

Back to what I want do to when I grow up...
I did have an " ah ha " moment the other day... after trying these jobs on, I have been asking myself what my desires are... What do I really really want to do? What do I really LOVE to do?

I have come to realize that I love having my home as a launching pad... the freedom to clean a house here and there, to do a photo shoot here and there, to post auctions on ebay, etc... basically to work from home.
I like the flexibility of being self employed... of having the option to go out and work in different places, with control over my schedule.
My heart is to be here for my kids, to volunteer, to be a part of their schools and lives as much as I can while I have them.
My girls go to a different school then my son...so my son gets to see me alot, but the involvement this year in their school is going to change alot because of my work schedule.
It's 30 hours a week, and when they are all in school.

My hub and I were talking and I shared these little peaks into my heart with him.
He shared with me that he hates that I am working so much outside the home, and misses me at home.
We went on to talk about music again....wondering if that is where we will end up.
I don't know.
We are actually going to be moving next year to a new state that we have dreamed of moving to for forever! So my thoughts are that I am thinking of working towards being self employed after we move from AZ.
That this year I work on really understanding photography more, or becoming more confident in the areas that I lack in as a photographer.
It honestly brings me a lot of hope to think like that... to see that this job, this year is temporary.
Because, in all honesty, I would rather clean houses, do photography here and there, post on ebay, etc... then go and work at the school.

On one hand, I am so grateful to have been able to try on these different jobs.
Like Julia Roberts in the movie, Runaway Bride, I am figuring out how I like my eggs ;)
I have tried them, tasted them and I don't like my eggs this way.

On the other hand, I want to be realistic and practical here too.
My family needs extra income from me right now. My hope and prayer is that in this next year, my hub will have a clearer direction as to what he wants to do when he grows up, and will have the confidence to step towards that area as well.
And I will work, and I will work the jobs in front of me to bring that income in.
I will hunker down, and I will do it.
But there is something inside me that so longs to do what I am created to do.
To use my giftings, and to work in the environment that I was made for.

I have been thinking on this, and going back to the school this year has put a HUGE flame under me to really find out what those areas are.
I am also realizing that I am going to have to be reaaaally purposeful to fill my heart and be creative. To choose those things that create life in me while I am in this kind of transitional space of working the school job this year.

So, I guess my question is to you...

Have you been here?

How did you work through all the voices to hear your heart in this whole arena of work?

Thankyou for any of your thoughts...

hugs. Amy


  1. I wish I was near my computer instead of my iPhone. I hear you. Just reading your blog tells me u r artistic. Have you read the highly sensitive person by Alaina Ellen? Sounds like u too. I understand cuz I would be almost suicidal within a week if I had to do a scheduled job. Heck I am at a camp that is semi scheduled and it is torture.( never mind that it it in rural sask without any escape vehicle) anyway when I get back I will write more on this. Love to u

  2. Oh my gosh, Kmarie.. your comment is life to my heart today. I am going to find this book and read it. I need direction in a serious way... Thankyou, lovie... would love to hear more of your thoughts when you can. hugs...

  3. Wow we are so similar! I can understand everything you feel about those jobs because that is exactly what I am dreading. My youngest is off to school next month and the "plan" has been for me to go back to work as we owe my parents HEAPS of money. But I am so scared.

    Like you, I can't clock mon til fri. I've done it before and I hated my life. Pregnancy always saved me, but that will never happen again! Haha
    Having this looming has even sucked the life out of me this year, I feel guilty because I feel like I'm lazy, but it's because I'm so s ared that once I get in a so so job I'll be stuck there forever. I've prayed about this for the last 5 years hoping something would come up that I could work from home on.

    So sorry, not much encouragement from me. But I do understand and I sighed with relief for you when read it's just for the year. Xoxo

  4. YES, Amy love...you must read The Highly Sensitive Person. that book changed my life. :P what you wrote about those various jobs...I have a feeling I'd be the EXACT same way. the first one you described sounds about how i feel about the job i work at the movie theater. manual labor. lots of faces. not something i particularly look forward to. job number 2 would make me want to shoot myself, and job number 3 would make me want to crawl into a hole and cry until i died. :P haha. so i feel you. the whole curriculum/same schedule thing... i mean, i can scarcely handle that for one week of VBS. i totally know i'm not cut out to be a teacher. anyway, i'm not being very encouraging, am i? :P

    i guess i don't know particularly what to say...because i'm still a student and haven't had to think *too* much about being a professional yet. i mean, i have, and i know what i want to do, but i haven't "been there, done that" yet, so i don't have much (any) experience (aside from my lovely minimum wage job).

    you do seem very artsy to me, and i think it would be great if you could pursue something in that arena. i have other thoughts...but my little sister is yelling my name, and since i'm playing mom this week (the real one is out of town) i should probably run. maybe i'll shoot you an email tomorrow or something. :) but until then, i love you, dearest...and know that i'll be praying for you. your Abba will always answer prayers for wisdom and direction. He gives to all liberally and without reproach! hugs and love to you tonight. <3

  5. have i been there?
    um, yes. i LIVE there. i currently work a retail job that is God-sent, but the part of me who is a woman, a creative introspective soul who wants to nourish the whole world and dive deep into all mysteries and to explore the sacred and to taste everything...that part grieves and groans and labors over the very real confines and struggles that "real life" has handed me. but i am thankful. it's just...you know. :-)

    could you be a hairstylist? you could keep your own hours and be creative and mingle with others if and when you want to. i don't know about your state but classes shouldn't take too long. and the money can be very sustaining.

    i'm a listmaker and so i've made pro and con lists before, weighing all options and seeing what comes out ahead. don't know if that applies here but it's helped me.

    good luck with this, lovie, and blessings to you and your hubby.

  6. oh man. this is so timely! so the husband calls me this morning after I left my last comment and says i really need to start looking for a part time job! eeeeeek
    just filled out a supermarket application

  7. I have been there. One job I stayed at for awhile, though it caused crying spells and so much stress, and I did everything I could to change my perspective and make it work. In retrospect I think I should have listened to my gut and just admitted that it wasn't the job for me. Of course I was single then..but there have been other jobs that I didn't much like but the bills had to be paid so you do what you gotta do... But all that aside, you sound like an entrepreneurial spirit to me. Have you ever taken a Myers-Briggs personality test? A lot of sites have the test for free and some say common professions for your type. Maybe it'll help your discernment?

  8. I have a 9 to 5, Monday through Friday job, which sometimes eeks into the nights and weekends during my busy time. Do I love it? No. Do I hate it? No. It bores me to tears sometimes, but it's a job. I use my free time to be creative and do the things I enjoy.

    I have a very pragmatic look at these things, though. I'm not willing to quit to do photography or other design work, because I HAVE a good job with good benefits that is 5 minutes from home and flexible when I need it. If I could guarantee that I could make one of those businesses work, then I would quit. I'm a bit risk adverse, though. My family declared bankruptcy when I was a kid, so I'm very aware of the fact that I want to keep the lights on, food on the table and clothes on their back. Those kids really don't know how good they've got it!

    For only one year, I would just deal with the school job and learn photography in your free time. You are doing a great job!

  9. Yes, m'aam, I've been there. I'd have to say my most enjoyable jobs have been those that had variety. Working as a Children's Pastor provided the creative variety I crave: the arts, drama productions, music, children, instructing teachers... Every day brought brought me something new.

    But doing hair would give you that same variety.

    As a Portrait/Wedding Photographer, I found I loved the creative and people part, but despised the business part. And if you're self-employed, you HAVE to do that part. GACK!

    In my new endeavor, Honor Your Journey, I'm mastering the business part along with the creative. Making hand painted, affordable journals for people to explore their creativity, printing the Artformation Cards with their weekly creativity boosters, painting canvases and creating inspirational greeting cards again have great variety. Hopefully it will pay off. I'll keep you posted. So far I'm enjoying it.

    But I believe you're in a healthy place. And you're learning "how you like your eggs" at a young age. (Oh yes you are!)

    Do you take your camera to work? Can you see it as a place with places/people/situations/? to shoot(photograph)?? Just a thought...

  10. Hey Amy, found your blog via Cats and see you know Widgie too, this world is crazy small.
    Working to make ends meet is super tough. I started a design business (its all I know how to do) when my boy was 7 months old and carried it through my pregnancy and had a 3 month break when my girl was born. She was 11 weeks old when I started it up again. We nearly died for the first 6 months of her life...
    I am not sure why I am even telling you all this but I guess I wanted you to know that there are so many of us women who work and have to bring in income.
    Whatever path you are on its hard but I have found God has such Grace for us girls when we are mothering and working.
    And I am so happy. God has taught me so much and has never let me fall. He has sustained me through times when I thought I could not carry one.
    And my question for you is "whats in your hand?" I ran from doing design but its what's in my hand. What's in yours?
    Wow. This is a very long winded and personal "hi"!!! Anyway....hi!