Just another mailing tube in a box full of mailing tubes – that’s what my master’s degree looks like today. I was digging through the basement looking for something and I came across that rolled up diploma from what seems like multiple lifetimes ago.

It’s a Master’s Degree in Education and when I got it I believed it to be the first step toward a life of advanced degrees. I was certain I’d pursue my PhD. I was sure I’d write and teach and then settle into a college professorship somewhere, taking time to teach and write and speak.

A Masters in Nothing | Just.Be.Enough.

Born to Teach

Then, in my last semester of school, I found out I was pregnant and my whole world changed. But it wasn’t a severe fork in the road. It was a gradual turn I didn’t really see coming until it felt too late.

I worked for a bit, even using my new degree. Then I had another baby and not only did going back to school seem impossible, I wasn’t really sure I even wanted that life anymore. I was not in love with the job that my master’s got me, so pursuing further education and advancement seemed wrong. Also, I tended to love the schools full of challenges and I threw myself into every community 110%, so the more kids I had the more the thought of trying to juggle the needs of other peoples’ children and then come home and tend to my own seemed an insurmountable task.

So I left the classroom and over the years I’ve tried on many professional hats. I’ve had sales jobs and was pretty good at that. I’ve written a time or two for actual money and that can be fun. I’ve worked in any way I have needed (and a few I wanted) to keep an income while staying home tending to my own. I also paid attention to how I was in every role. What moved me? What ate away my soul? Where did I shine?

Now I think I’ve found a path, a new road to take that works for the new person I’ve grown into over these years I’ve spent learning about me. And though it’s not in a classroom, and I don’t have that PhD, it isn’t too far from the road I did not take.

See, it seems no matter what, I am a teacher. I don’t mean in the traditional sense of the word. I haven’t been in a classroom full-time in over seven years. But in my soul, my gut, all the places that heat up when you’re doing something you know is just right? THERE I am a teacher and teach is what I need to do.

I still think I was right all those years ago to walk away. I know in my heart that to be really happy, being self-employed is what I need and that is not the way it works in any type of school. I don’t regret my degree. I learned so much getting it that it has served me well in most of the jobs I’ve had and continue to have. It’s ok that I veered off the path I thought was right all those years ago.

Life is long and, so far, I’m enjoying the drive.



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About Cristie

Cristie blogs all of her adventures in just about everything at The Right Hand Mom, and at Real Life Wellness she talks about food, babies and fitness. She can also be found on Twitter (usually tired, often snarky and often talking about The Today Show in 140 characters or less) at @RitzKing.

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