I recently was talking to my cousin about what we should do with our lives and whether our younger selves would be proud of our accomplishments. We then started to talk about how in our career aspirations how difficult it is sometimes to overcome hardships when doing what you love is conflicting. I will use her career goals as an example. She loves animals and would love to be a veterinarian or work exclusively with animals some day. The obstacle she would have to overcome would be euthanizing the sick animals and dealing with death and sickness of the animals that she loves so much on a pretty regular basis. I then thought about my brothers’ career choice as a brain surgeon. He is the most compassionate, kid friendly person that I know. It’s what makes him such an incredible doctor. However, when working in his specific field unfortunately, many children do not survive. It’s a horrible, traumatizing statistic that comes with brain related injuries/illness, that as a doctor he would have to overcome regularly as well. Thinking in my own career; working with children with special needs has its’ own obstacles to overcome. When I was working with severely depressed or manic children I would get in my car after school and cry. Cry about how sad I was that I couldn’t help them that day or sad that I hated some of the children even if it wasn’t their fault that they acted out based on the trauma they had already experienced.

How are you supposed to tell if it’s all worth it? Some jobs are easier to deal with than others. Some you show up, go to meetings, sell things and go out for drinks with your boss after. Not that those jobs aren’t rewarding and you’re no less if that is your chosen field. However, I envy that. I envy being able to go home and not think about all the things you could’ve done to help someone that day. Here is my view on the matter. It is worth it. I see so many articles on nurses listing all the reasons why it’s torture working in a hospital and at the end of every article the main idea is that they keep going back because of the patients. Compassion is what drives human nature in these professions and if it wasn’t instilled in so many people , our society would not be as advanced as it is today. Compassion is what allows me to go to work every single day and not worry that what I’m doing is a mistake or that I’m wasting my time.

Do I sometimes wish I chose a different career? After teaching my student the same math problem 4 times and leaving the classroom unsuccessful, yes I sometimes wish I could go back and choose something like marketing or a “stylist” at some clothing store at the mall. But you find other outlets to fulfill these needs. I blog. Sometimes I wish I could be a writer and then I remember that anytime I can start writing my story or expanding my blog. If one day I choose to make a career out of this I’ll look back fondly and really appreciate the years I spent helping my students grow, learn, and succeed. Some days are hard. Hell, most days are hard but I can overcome it and so can you.

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