What I’ve Learned

One of the questions in my online physiology class assignments was, “What have you learned about yourself and your learning strategies this trimester?” I responded with some sort of professional answer about the power of routine and repetition, blah blah blah, but it made me think.

What I’ve really learned is that it doesn’t matter what job a person has. If I could pay my bills by working in a little organic grocery store for the rest of my life, I might do just that. Better yet, if I could afford to buy a tiny house and live on a small piece of land with some goats, chickens, and a garden, that’s what I would do. The problem is that I can’t grow into old age and continue to do manual labor. Let’s be real: I don’t do manual labor now.

I thought I needed to make this career change so that I could get some kind of meaningful, rewarding job. That was why I did it. But now I realize that most people just pick a job and do it. The question is, what if it’s not meaningful and rewarding? What if I’m no good at it? What if I’m borrowing all this money for something that won’t work out? Then I’ll owe even more money than when I started, and I’ll be in the same boat I was in before, except in deeper debt. Before this semester I thought I had no choice, that I could do this or work in a grocery store forever, and the latter option didn’t seem like a real option. Now it feels like something that’s not a bad thing. It just is. The only problem is that it doesn’t pay my bills. If I’d had this realization beforehand I might not have gone back to school, and I’d have kept my life downsized and paid off my debt, then I’d become a manager and buy myself a tiny house off a country road near the grocery store.

The problem with getting “good” jobs is that if you borrow money to go to school to get said good job, you then have to do whatever it takes to get that job to pay off your student loan. You may end up hating the job, or having to commute really far, or living somewhere you don’t like to get a job you may not like.

Everyone acts like this is such a big deal, that I’m going out to better myself, and that I should keep moving “forward,” whatever that means. The truth is, what does it really matter? As long as I’m contributing to society, does it really matter if I’m a nutritionist or a grocery store worker?

It’s not too late. I could quit now and get out before I accrue any more debt.

I just hope that one day I look back and read this and laugh, that once upon a time I had no idea what all the biochemical pathways were, and the physiology of the body was Greek to me. Because I’ll be so happy in this dream job that I never thought possible. I really hope that’s what happens.

Here’s a song I’ve been playing a lot lately.