I’ve got the worst case of cedar fever I have ever had in my life. I’ve lived here for 8 years, and for 4 of those years I’ve dealt with allergy symptoms every January, but never anything worse than a sore throat. This year, I’ve been coming down with what had to be a cold since the beginning of January. But it’s not! It’s slowly getting worse, but not really, and hasn’t shown a sign of getting better. Cedar has been INSANELY high this season, and as a result, my nose has been stuffy and runny (at the SAME TIME), I’ve been sneezing, which I never do even when I am sick, my throat has been scratchy, snot has been running down the back of my throat choking me out of my sleep. This article does a beautiful job of describing the role cedar plays in lives of central Texans. It’s a part of life here. If you want the live music and the beautiful landscapes, you have to deal with the seasonal war on your nose waged by cedar.
I just hope the effects of the allergy limits itself only to my sinuses and energy level, and not overall mental health and decision-making skills. I ask this because I changed my college major today, and I just took it in a whole new direction. Like, a direction that I had always wanted to go, but since having kids, thought I would never get to go in, and a direction that I have been known to mock, and why not? It’s the complete opposite of my previous major, which had a guarantee of a specific job attached to it. It’s a liberal art in the truest sense, in fact it’s Liberal Arts with an emphasis on Journalism.
Journalism. I know, I KNOW.
Imagine you’re in one of those horror movies where you’re running down a hallway, but the door keeps getting further and further away. In the movie it’s because your kid is being molested by demons on the other side of that door or something, but in this horror movie there’s something less scary on the other side. You don’t stop running for that door because you know that what’s behind that door is a guaranteed job that pays you, like, $50-60,000 a year. All you have to do is take all of these really hard classes and earn all of these extra certifications and then possibly sit on a wait list so you can get into a program with a really, really inflexible schedule, and then voila! You’re an ultrasound tech for the rest of your life. You can’t do anything else unless you go back to school. Thats all.
I’ve been running for that door for 3 years now, and I’m still not even close, and worse, I don’t even really want to do it. I mean, it seems like a fun job! If I’m lucky I could work in a Doctor’s office with all of these pregnant women and look at their babies and tell them if its a boy or a girl, and yeah, I would have to break the bad news to some parents every once in a while, but whatever. I would be making enough money to support my family, and at the end of the day, thats all that matters. It’s not my future anymore, it’s ours. Everything I do makes a difference to them, so it had better count.
With each passing semester, every time I would look back over the list of prerequisites I would stress out over how much more there was left to do, and I was becoming less and less enthused about what this was all about. The plan had been initially that when I was done getting this degree and I had a job and we were settled, I could go back to school and study whatever I wanted. That was a great plan at the very beginning because that was before I got over school. I loved school at first, but after this long, it’s grown a bit tedious, and I don’t want to spend the rest of my life doing it. For any reason. I’m getting closer to 30, I just want to get it done with and be happy with what I’ve accomplished.
But journalism? Really? Go to any big city government or corporate financial establishment and you’ll see a slew of people my age and younger with liberal arts degrees sitting around holding signs, angry and somehow surprised that they are unemployed and in huge amounts of debt. Why do I want so badly to join them?
I don’t, and I hope that I am one of the lucky ones who gets a job as a technical writer or something. But if not, I’d be more than happy homeschooling my kids and making my own clothes. Or working in customer support or human relations for some company. Obviously, I’m not naive enough to believe that I am smart and pretty and talented enough to jump to the front of the unemployment line and get a job as an editor for a newspaper.
I’ve wanted to study Journalism since I was a teenager. I love writing, everyone knows this, even when I hate it, I love it. It’s always been my main form of expression and I have always been at the very least decent at it. When I first announced it to my family when I was young, my older brother was the first person to ask me if I wanted to live with my mom for the rest of my life, and true to his smart-ass sensibility, today he was the first person to ask me if I wanted a job someday. I’ll say pretty much the same thing I said to him earlier: If I’m going to spend several years working my ass off, making sacrifices, stressing myself sick to achieve a certain goal, I have to want that goal. I have to care about it, and I have to do what makes me happy.
I love my family more than anything in this world, and I have made huge sacrifices for them thus far. I am by no means complaining about what being a wife and mother has done to me, because it’s done nothing but wonderful things for me. I have grown so much as a person because of them, and its because of my children that I even have the desire to pursue an education. Changing my degree to one with much fewer guarantees doesn’t mean that I don’t love them or suddenly care about them any less. I know that, they know that, and that is all that matters. I am so incredibly lucky to get the opportunity to go to school, and to do with their support.