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Existential Crisis

May 26, 2011

Image courtesy of The Myriad Things

What do I want to be when when I grow up?  I always answered this question differently, depending on my current interests and whether or not my dreams were dashed by poor teachers (Ms. Karlson and Dr. Tate, I’m calling you out!).  There was doctor, teacher, journalist, lawyer, all the standards of good children.  There was my short obsession with the post office, because who wouldn’t want to wear formal shorts and deliver mail? Once all was said and done though, I came back to the same one: Librarian.  Those mythical, magical creatures whose job is was to read books, help me find the next in a series of Eyewitness Books, and encourage me to expand my interests and think outside of my box.

On the road to Grad school, though, I had many speed bumps. Annoying stops where I questioned my decisions and life choices.  However, each one offered an insight into what I really wanted.  There was the two years spent in fast food, learning what I did not want to do for the rest of my life.  Three or Four years in customer service over the phone taught me how to talk to people and get what I want (Reference interview practice!).  It also taught me how to say I’m sorry, something that doesn’t happen often enough, if you ask me. Then, there was the teaching experience. My undergraduate work was in Secondary education, which taught me that, although I wanted to be a teacher, I didn’t want to teach history (or coach for that matter, why social studies and coaching go together is beyond me). Following my graduation, I had just assumed my life would begin, find a job, find a husband, start being an adult, rather than lingering in stasis for an extended period of time.  Of course, these things never work out as expected. I found myself at 25, with a degree, working a night shift at a temp job questioning why I had even gone to school in the first place. It was after a little nudge from a mentor (Librarian) and my life coach (Mother) that I decided to go back to school a pursue a Masters degree in Librarianship.

This is not to say the existential crises has ended, not a day goes by where I wonder if I made a gigantic error in my life, moving across the country to go to school. Classes hold no help at times, tilted towards the cold, dead, circuits of technology rather than the warm, human, hearts of librarians. It does, however, give purpose and hope to my studying, because I know there are others out there, who need help and direction. People who are searching for something and just need an advisor, a friend, someone who can answer their questions, or show them where to look. I tend to be a bit pie-in-the-sky about life, but I feel that we are at the precipice, we have the opportunity to change lives by acting as a mediator between the wide world of information and the user who is looking for it.  It’s exciting.

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