I always wanted to be a teacher, and for the first twelve or thirteen years of my life, I never thought I’d end up doing anything else. I used to play the teacher whenever I played with friends, and I even “tutored” my neighbors kids when I was like eight or nine. By tutoring I mean that I always did my homework, and my neighbor’s kids didn’t, so she payed me to make them do their homework :)
Then I moved to Guatemala, and my big career plans there were to be a secretary. Yeah, for some reason, “secretaria bilingue” sounds like a dream career to Guatemalan girls when they’re young. My career expectations shot up again when I came back to school in the United States. I think in junior high I started to get a bit idealistic about wanting to change the world. Most of it had to do with living in Guatemala, and seeing the crime, impunity, corruption, and endless violence that exists. What bothered me (and still does) about Guatemala is that the government does nothing to curb everything that is going on. Most government officers are too busy filling their pockets to try to make any meaningful changes to the way things are done. So my dream was to get an education that would allow me to get involved with international relations, diplomacy, or some other branch where I could yield some significant influence in the right direction. My ideal job would definitely be with an organization like the United Nations, or U.S.A.I.D., or a non-profit involved in human rights or humanitarian law.
Although those aspirations still hold true, there were complications that I never thought about in junior high. I now have my JD, and I guess technically the potential to get those jobs. But I also just got married, and I’m excited and looking forward to starting a family. This makes the whole “international job” a little more difficult to pursue. Growing up I never thought I would end up having conflicting goals and aspirations. It’s not a tough choice between career and family: I definitely am more excited about being married to Jeff and looking forward to our future together. But it’s difficult to accept that something I always wanted is going to have to take the back burner for a while.
Lately I’ve been wondering if most people, sooner or later, come to a point in their life where they have to make one of life’s little big decisions: sometimes we have idealistic expectations of what we want, but maybe the opportunity isn’t there, or the timing isn’t right, and we have to accept something more realistic. Either way, life is what you make of it, and life is gonna be great :)