Friday, September 29, 2006

Once Upon a Time...

There was a boy. A nice boy.

One Christmas, he found a big present underneath the Christmas tree. It was a trombone. He didn't ask for a trombone for Christmas, but since he got it, he figured he might as well learn how to play it.

Well, he got pretty good at it. He played it in bands in high school. He played it in more bands in college. After graduation, he couldn't find much in his chosen field, but he was making money in the bands, so he kept playing.

And then one Christmas Eve, when the boy was a middle-aged man, he sat up in bed in a cold sweat. "Oh my God," he said, "I'm a trombone player."

I'm good at my job. Very good. I'm the 'go-to guy' for difficult projects. I'm always being complimented and lauded for my creativity and problem-solving. I get requested on projects more than all of the rest of my colleagues combined. I'm often asked to help others when they're having problems, and in fact, I've taught aspects of my job at the local community college.

Which is pretty amazing, since I don't know what I'm doing.

That's not really true. But it's how I feel. I've never had any real training on my job. Because it's not what I want to do.

The problem is, I'm not sure what I want to do.

Oh, my God. I'm a trombone player.

So now, in my middle age, as the sole provider for my two children, I'm tasked with finding out how best to use my skills.

I guess the first thing to do is figure out what they are.

  • I'm funny. Both in print and in person
  • I have a way with words
  • I have no problem talking to large groups
  • I can improvise
  • I've got good visual sense
  • I can grasp concepts quickly, and offer reasonably intelligent insights
  • I'm a quick learner
  • I know my way around cameras and editing equipment
What else? What more do any of you think I have to offer? And what do you think would be a good career for someone with these skills?

One of the things I'm not very good at is asking for help. I'm working on that.

Help, please. I'm tired of playing trombone.*


*no offense to the truly talented players who want to be in the back row.


Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

Well. Being 35 and tentatively figuring out what I want to do when I grow up, I'm not the best person to advise you on this subject! However, I will tell you this: in the last few months I managed to narrow it down, based NOT on what I WANT to do...but what I HAVE TO DO.

I am miserable without my horses around me. Just friggin miserable. For over ten years I had all these reasons why not to get into the horse business- and believe me there are so many reasons to stay out of it!- but if I want to live with them, they have to earn their keep.

Also if I don't write, I go snakey. Bad snakey. Cranky crazy. Imaginery people converse in my head. And then they start asking me questions. And tellin me what to do. So I gotta write them down or they get a little outta control.

REally what I'm proving is that I'm slightly mental but hey, honesty, right? This probably didn't help much...!

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i guess the question you have to answer is what do you really WANT to do? because all those skills you list are valuable in any field. all of them.

(you also have compassion and sensitivity to offer, btw.)

i know. it's a tough question. i keep questioning my own choices and can't come up with any answers either, so i'm lucky a big job change came along for me.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Rowena said...


9:12 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Whoa, that's quite a view over there in the back row.

I'd say drama therapy, but they don't seem to have an "employment" section on their website. Hmmmm.

Write a book. Definitely. No matter where you end up.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lord of all he surveys is a good job.

Life coach?

Wolf trainer?

Philosopher King?

7:24 AM  
Blogger Dear Lovey Heart said...

you are a reputable influencer do that professionally

good luck

12:42 PM  
Blogger mal said...

if was not for you being too intellectualy honest, I would say Politician........

12:05 AM  
Blogger cadbury_vw said...

no clue

i have no clue

1:22 AM  
Blogger elaine said...

hem. the obvious answer is staring you in the face.

Piracy. It's the only solution.

(on a more serious note. when you figure it out, can you help me decide?)

2:48 AM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Try the tuba. It's difficult to make the choice to do something else eith your life. My husband's back in school at 32, so I know how you're feeling. Knowing what your strengths are is a good first step. Figuring out what you really love doing is another. Try doing some writing for a small local newspaper, you know, letter to the editor and such. Maybe you'll find your calling there. If not, try something else. I hink one of the scariest things about Americans is that they fall into a rut and they never ty anything different. OUr entire culture seems to revolve around defining yourself and sticking to that definition, which doesn't make allowances for that fact that we change and grow as we age and what defined us at 25 doesn't necessarily have anything to do with who we are at 45.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Guy Wonders said...

Definitely something in the writing/creative side of things, even though these are typically areas where it's probably quite hard to make a living.

Nevertheless, it would still be worth pursuing if you have the passion for it. . . .

8:48 PM  
Blogger Madame X said...

guess rodeo clown is out of the running?

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think writing is the way to go for you. I agree with UWL.

Good luck!

1:34 PM  

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