Saturday, December 3, 2011

So tired of snide comments about this career change

Yes, got it again today from an aquaintance whom I haven't seen in awhile.  She put it bluntly, after addressing me as "Mrs. Student", laughing, asking "So are you the oldest person in the class???"  What if I was?  Would that question make me, or anyone in my shoes, feel any better?  Yes, that's hilarious to poke fun at my age and being at university, and while you're at it, play up the mid-life crisis angle, why don't you. 

I am so tired of having to explain myself for this career change decision.  Yes, clearly I know it's part of the territory of making such a change, given that it's not a common occurrance.  Yes, I know this looks like a raging mid-life crisis, but for those who know me the best, they can attest to the fact that a career change has been discussed, analyzed, dreamed of for altogether too many years before it actually happened.  And even if it was a mid-life crisis, is it really such a sin to be re-training for a different career, one that gives a person personal satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day?  Is that truly such a bad thing?

Is it the difference between choosing to switch careers, over having to change what makes it less valid?  Is that what makes my decision seem so hilarious and absurd to some people?  Some people just cannot understand why I would leave a well paying, secure job to do this change.  It is somehow more acceptable to be going to nursing school to be upgrading your life to a better paying job, over deciding that one would love to do more fulfilling work?

Guess I just have to keep reminding myself that this is not forever, just a few more years, and then I'll be back in a regular, multi-generational work environment, where I'll just be 'regular' again.  Or go back to my job waiting for me, and be 'regular' again.  (But when have I ever been 'regular'???)

So frustrating.  And the pressure of the immense workload of preparing for cumulative final exams is starting to affect me, even though they don't start until the 14th of December. 

But when I look back at the past three months, they have also been among the best I've ever had.  I've had so much precious time to spend one-on-one with my youngest daughter, my other two children are thriving and loving to be able to come home, relax and play with friends they invite over, instead of spending so many hours at daycare, both before and after school.  Dinner time is more relaxed when my better half comes home, given that the food is ready to eat.  Our lives are more relaxed in general, and our family is better off for it.

I guess I'll just be an endless source of bizarre entertainment to some.  No, it doesn't feel good, but what does feel good are all the other times I get to spend living my life with a focus on the priorities that are most important to us.  I'm not making the big life choices based on pleasing others and am not doing what they think I should be doing any more.  So I guess, the logical conclusion is just to let them laugh and tease.  All I can say -- despite all the transition, change, uncertainty, stress of exams, of re-integrating into a classroom, of being a mature student, of losing my paycheque and job title, and re-inventing myself as a student -- is that I hope they're as happy as I am.

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