Here follows my thought process.
ENGLISH. Written word, grammar, and punctuation faux pas drive me batty (for example, apostrophes are required for possessives but NOT for plurals; there vs their vs they're; then vs than etc etc etc the list goes on). Overuse of texting shorthand (innocent may it be) also makes me want to poke my eyeballs with a fork. I am not, however, opposed to colourful, trendy ‘slang’ (e.g., totes, cray, adorbs), the occasional made up word, or the overuse of brackets (can you tell?)… double standard I know. I began to think of how I love to write, I appreciate well written/witty prose, and I’m somewhat of a grammar nazi. Hmmmm…. Perhaps I should have become an English teacher. But wait, I don’t think I’d like teaching a million kids at a time, and I’d like to teach ONLY English (not all those other subjects they make you learn in school). But I don’t like poetry. Or Shakespeare. I’d like to just teach appropriate grammar and punctuation use. And proper articulation. Preferably to little kids. Then it dawned on me. Hang on a tick… I’M A SPEECH AND LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST! In a PRESCHOOL! THAT'S WHAT I DO. Seriously, this is no joke. That was literally my thought process. EPIPHANY! As sad as it is, folks, this is the first time that I realized that I’m actually truly and completely IN THE RIGHT FIELD! Well blow me over.
As I excitedly exclaimed this to Lowell, he looked at me like ‘well DUH!’
Before you jump to the (possibly accurate) conclusion that I’m a complete dimwit, let me explain why it took so long for me to come to this conclusion. I feel like I sort of stumbled into speech. In high school while I was frantically attempting to figure out what to do with the rest of my life, my mom casually mentioned that her cousin was a Speech Pathologist (the one male speech path in the universe). I hadn’t heard of this speech pathology thing, so I set up some job shadowing with two brilliant clinicians. I liked what I saw, and began grooming the ol resume and working towards the ultimate (and still somewhat unclear) goal of becoming a Speech and Language Pathologist. Only BY THE GRACE OF GOD did I skiff my way through the masters program. It. Was. Hard. When people now enthusiastically inform me that they’ve been accepted into a speech program, I offer them my hearty congratulations then secretly throw up in my mouth a little. If I was told that I had to go back and do the program again, well, I wouldn’t.
My first job as a speech path was in a preschool with (mostly) awesome colleagues, but the one non-SLP colleague that I worked the most closely with was very very NOT awesome, and her non-awesomeness totally shook my already faltering confidence. I then moved to New Zealand and worked in a whole new setting (older adults/neurological conditions/hospital setting/mostly swallowing) which was a different ball of wax with a STEEP learning curve. Since returning to Canada, I’ve worked here, there, and everywhere, but mostly with preschool kiddies. While I have enjoyed the variety of employment opportunities and vast learning experiences, became tight with colleagues in various settings, and loved making a difference in the lives of my clients… I still wasn’t SURE that speech was where I should be. Now that I have kids of my own, however, I realize a big part of the reason for my restlessness was that I was ready to be a mommy. The whole ‘finding an appropriate career’ thing was sort of just buying time until I birthed my own babies. Now that I’ve been blessed to add ‘mom’ to my resume (TWICE!!), I find myself increasingly content with my career choice. As long as it doesn’t exceed two days per week…. because I am, after all, first and foremost a mama.
I consider myself affirmed. And I treated myself to Starbucks in celebration (not that I need an excuse for Starbucks).
So thank you, Del (random cousin of my mom’s who I’ve met twice in my life), for steering me in the right direction. If I see you again in the next 20 years, coffees are on me.
|As affirmed as I may be in my career, these three are still my number one priority.|