Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Life's Twist and Turns

When you reach a certain age - and those of you of that "certain age" know what I'm talking about - you can look ahead and make predictions on where your working life is going to lead. You've had enough jobs to know what you're good at and enjoy doing, and you may even be in that job you can see yourself doing until retirement. The fun part is to look back on your earlier years and marvel at how you ever ended up where you are today.

I went to college for chemical engineering, then teaching, then industrial instrumentation, then anthropology. If I knew every bit of what I know today and was somehow able to start over and magically graduate from high school again and enroll in college, I would STILL not know what I want to major in, and I would STILL accumulate hundreds of credits in classes that I enjoy. I don't regret a single moment spent in a college classroom, at six different colleges. But honestly not a single class has ever helped me much in the workplace.

I've spent about equal time between earning a living with my hands and earning a living with my head - I need both parts in my life, and if I am employed using my hands then I usually focus on intellectual pursuits in my off-time; if I sit in front of a computer, I try to be more physical and hands-on in the evenings. The one thing I know for sure is I never could have imagined 25 years ago that I would be working on an island in the Bering Sea - but maybe I could have . . . . between the military, managing a grocery store, multi-craftsman at a college, and managing a small business, I also worked herring in Bristol bay and on a salmon boat in Cook Inlet. The outdoors and the sea have always been a draw for me so maybe it was inevitable I would end up here, site of the last great sustainable fishery in the world, at the busiest fishing port in the United States. Surrounded by mountains and all that you've seen on this blog, an endless Discovery Channel happening outside, waiting to be discovered. What a strange, twisting trip it's been . . . .


Gia's Spot said...

I AM ENJOYING YOUR BLOG! What an awesome area you live in. I have added your blog to my "interesting sites" and will be back to read your latest entries! T.

Lori said...

Love your thoughts and intuitive perspective. I think about this often and unlike you, haven't gone down that road for college, haven't had many job (always stay at one for long periods) and don't know where I'm headed other than I know I will always work somewhere until I'm unable to work. I tell everyone that I'm going to work at Disney someday - some place where everyone is happy and I can be happy in my work and make people smile! Enjoy your day!

Ranando said...

That's what makes like such a great adventure, the twists and truns.

I've never worked for anyone besides myself and I've enjoyed every moment.

When I look back and think of how I got to where I am today I know it wasn't that degree in Micro Biology, it was my parents and grandparents. They made me promise at an early age that I would never work for someone else, no matter what.

I just learned how to take a dollar and make it two dollars.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Ranando's right. Life is an incredible adventure. I had no idea whatsoever that I'd be doing what I'm doing at this time -- having worked at my current job for 33 years now.


Lothian said...

I totally understand what you mean about college. I have a liberal arts degree. I started with social work as a major, dabbled in journalism and somehow ended up a women's studies degree. It will never get me a job, but I would never be here today if it weren't for all the time I spent there and the experiences I had. If I could go back, I would do it all the same except take MORE classes!