Which Career to Choose?

I can’t help but laugh when I think back on my childhood. I was so strong-willed in my thoughts. I knew what career I wanted, where I was going to live, what age I was going to get married, the possible names of my husband, when I was going to have children, and how many. Was anyone else like that? Does this sound familiar or do you think I was a little over the top?

Perhaps the latter, but that’s totally okay. I was ambitious and driven. I thought I was going to be a nurse living in London, Ontario, Canada. I was going to be married at 23, have my son at 25 and my daughter at 27. The ages were calculated for marriage and children based on the date I would graduate from nursing and find work, along with roughly two years of marriage under our belt before having kids. My brother and I were best friends growing up and were twenty months apart. So, I planned to have the same. Why London or being a nurse?

Well, I was sick a lot throughout my childhood. I grew up near Windsor, Ontario. The doctors there couldn’t figure out why I was having so many health issues, so they sent me to some specialists in London. I had excellent care at the hospitals in London. They were so patient and compassionate. That stuck with me. I wanted to become just like them and help others like they helped me.

My Nana along with a bunch of my aunts had all been nurses and/or worked in the medical field. I just figured it was in my blood to carry on the legacy. It all made sense. I could play for hours by myself pretending to fix my dolls back to health. I was curious how the body worked.

I took all the courses I needed to in high school to set myself up for nursing school. That was until I reached grade 12. I wasn’t strong in math or chemistry. No one could easily explain or breakdown the concepts for me in a practical way that made sense. I tried looking for tutors and teachers to help, but no one was available. My grade 11 Chemistry teacher told me to not even bother signing up for grade 12 Chem. My mark in grade 11 was in the mid-sixties. She said that I would fail grade 12 if I tried it. I was devastated. How was I going to go to university and become a nurse if I didn’t have grade 12 Chemistry?

The bridging program for nursing had just come out. I could go to college and get my hands-on training along with my Registered Practical Nurses’ Diploma and then bridge into the Registered Nurses’ program from there. I was determined that nothing would stop me.

I tried grade 12 Chemistry for the first couple of weeks of school. I got right to the deadline of being able to switch classes before I would lose the credit. I tried but found it too difficult. There was an opening in the Writer’s Craft Class, so I signed up. I had three English classes that semester: English, Literature, and Writer’s Craft, and I loved it! Writer’s Craft ended up being one of my favourite classes in all of secondary school. In fact, all the literature, writing, and dramatic arts courses were my favourites. I did really well in them too. I felt passionate about it. I even loved all things Shakespeare. Growing up with some old King James Version Bible reading helped me to grasp the language in most of Shakespeare’s writing, so it wasn’t completely overwhelming for me.

Eventually, nursing didn’t work out for me. The threats of being sued for the possibility of making medical errors, along with having a practical in a clinical setting that I was uncomfortable with, drew me away from pursuing nursing any further. Which led me to taking an administrative program that I excelled in. It was my natural go to. I didn’t have to think hard to make it work, like I did with nursing and the sciences. Though my heart ached letting go of my lifelong dream, I picked up and did what came easy to me.

Now, when I look back over my childhood, writing and administrative work makes complete sense for me. I loved all things stationary. I hoarded notepads, journals, and pens. I had set up a little office in my closet to have a peaceful place where I could write and play. I had post-it notes on my walls with verses, quotes, reminders, and silly things on them. I had a little file box with people’s addresses and phone numbers in them (back before mobile devices)!

There were a few times that I even set up a table in our family’s living room as a little office. When my family walked by, they could tell me things or ask me questions and I’d write them down. I could give them information or phone numbers if needed. I absolutely loved it.

I used to watch this kids’ TV program called Krat’s Kreatures. It was two guys that travelled the world and shared facts and cool information about all sorts of animals. There was a girl back at their headquarters, which was in a massive tree fort, that would research things for them when needed. That girl’s job fascinated me. I would literally sit with a notepad and pen recording the information the men and girl would share with their viewers.

Then, last but not least, my brother, cousin, friend, and I would dress up and play news anchors. My mom and dad let us borrow their camcorder. We would record episodes of news casts, complete with the weather, sports, and local news. We had SO much fun doing that! We even had mugs we would drink from, papers we would pick up and tap when we wanted to make a point or break a scene, and a microphone from my karaoke machine to make it look official.

Here I was growing up thinking I would be a nurse when all along God was designing me to write, speak, and do admin type tasks. He truly does shepherd us and design us to do the things we were best created for. Was there a certain career you always wanted to do growing up? Were there other things that you really enjoyed but didn’t think much of? How did those things play out in your adulthood? I’d be fascinated to hear!

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