Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mirror Mirror on the Wall....

...what does my future hold, if anything at all?

-corny I know. (and to think I call myself a writer).

Tomorrow I'll be headed to a meeting at the School District of Philadelphia to learn more about the resources we have to improve homeless children's' education. Part of me is like, woah, I've got another meeting at the School District of Philadelphia, I'm a grown up! The other part of me is like woah, the School District of Philadelphia headquarters is right next to the Philadelphia Inquirer building.

What am I going to do as I pass the Inquirer to go to my meeting?

Stare at it. For approx. 15 seconds and sigh.

I really don't understand the point of living in the present. I know it has something to do with realizing what you've got and not what you can attain. The one thing I struggle with the most in this program is figuring out what to do after it. I'm not in a rush to get out of here. If anything, I wish I could sign up for an additional year. I don't really trust anyone to do my job next year as a Youth Advocate yet sources tell me this facility relies on interns and unpaid volunteers to run. Therefore I'll surely be replaced. After all, this non-profit does not have the money to hire me after my work for free year is over.

So I'm trying to prepare myself for what is next. The fun part is, I have no idea! Part of me wants to slink back to journalism and write my ass off while sucking up to corporate America. The good, wholesome, do-gooder part of me wants to find a job that serves people and makes changes for good OR another volunteer position that pays more and allows me to serve people and do good. Journalism and social work are two very different fields. Journalism is kind of a self-gratifying career. Its almost selfish. You write for your readers but your name is highlighted in bold on the byline. Social work is a work for nothing but change lives kind of career. You get paid crap, you put up with crap, you realize that you can't help everyone but you do get an opportunity to change a life or two. How many people can say journalism changed their life?

When I get out of this program I need something that pays enough for me to knock out my bills, live on my own and pay for insurance on my car/self/life. I know I won't be a minute made millionaire but I'd like to not live below the poverty line. Ideally, I've said this before, I'd like to stay in Philly. There is a lot of opportunity here and I really love the area.

Its funny. People tell you that you don't have to have one career your whole life. They say you can write, serve, sing and invest. When you're in my position you have to make all the right moves. I can try to work for another non-profit but that's to get money to get on my feet. If I want to make money to oh, I don't know, buy a dog or a new car, I need to seek a promotion. Promotions come with advanced education. So what would I go back to school for? That is where it gets difficult. I don't even have money to go back to school. If I did, what would I study? I only get one chance until I make enough money to go and study something else for a new career. So it is a one shot kind of thing. If I go to school for social work I could be a case worker, counselor, youth advocate or program director. If I go to school for marketing I could be a marketing professional designing advertisements and stuff. If I just get an MBA I can work in college administration as an admissions advisor or some sort of high up job in college. If I go to school for journalism, I could possibly get hired by a big newspaper such as the Inquirer. The possibilities are endless and that's not always a good thing.

Much like a chess game, I have to plan my first step and hope its the right one. Yet everyone gets on me for constantly thinking about the future. "Make the most of the present!" Ok, but I worry I'll still be clueless in a year and I'll be working for McDonald's with non English speaking individuals. What am I qualified for? How can I make the most impact on the world?

My dream job would involve me being a journalist for a travel magazine. I'd get paid to travel the world and write about it. I'd settle for covering stories about murder, drugs, and political scandals for Philadelphia though.

While I'm at work I sometimes stop and think about the present moment. "Woah, I'm at MY desk. Woah, this is MY workplace. Woah, I have to lead a meeting today or assess a family tomorrow." I realize that this is the real world and I have a lot of responsibility for someone who just graduated college and I LOVE IT.

I suppose every 20 something goes though this phase in life. That is, unless you're in law school, business school or some other graduate school. Then you know what you want to do. I don't think I'm cut out for law school but I am toying with the idea of going to business school. I can't help but feel limited by the unlimited.

All in all work has been fine, its picking up because of the holidays. Community is fine, half my house is sick and I think I've just caught the bug myself. Spiritual life is shaky as usual. Love life is non-existent. I am doing just fine but yes, I miss my family and all my friends very much. I'll be home for Christmas the 23rd-29th. :)

Until next time...

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