Deciding Who I'll Be

Deciding Who I'll Be

One day after kindergarten, my five-year-old self sat watching a new episode of The Busy World of Richard Scarry. The episode revolved around career day when students in a classroom greatly resembling my own brought in friends and relatives to explain different careers available in the world. I watched, attentive enough, as a chef, a banker, a firefighter, and a construction worker gave their animated presentations. Suddenly, I jumped up with a smile bigger than the one I always wore at snack time. I ran into my mom’s room and announced: “I know what I want to be when I grow up!” My mom put down her book and looked at me expectantly. I proudly exclaimed, “A travel agent!” You see, I had never heard of a travel agent until that episode introduced it to me. A travel agent could plan vacations and make people excited about the world! A travel agent could work in their own office and coordinate fun activities! A travel agent could spend all day talking about exotic locations! But, most importantly, none of my friends wanted to be a travel agent; just me.

Time passed and I was soon dissuaded from this profession because of the supposed obligation to travel on an airplane: I had a phobia of these things, having never been on one myself. The seemingly glamorous life of a travel agent faded with a six year old’s travel anxiety and the rise of Expedia and HotelTonight.

Fast forward seven years: I sit in an English classroom as a young, impressionable seventh grader, soaking up every word from my teacher. After years of devouring books, read alouds, scripts, and writing poetry on love (which I knew so much about) and stories of an adventurous squirrel (which entertained my entire family), I made another career choice: I would be a seventh grade English teacher.

I guess I should have figured a travel agent’s life wasn’t for me after getting car sick on the short ride to the grocery store. In the same vein, I could have predicted my teaching dream when, in first grade, I came home from school excited about showing my mom what an ellipsis was…

Since then, I’ve expanded my decision to secondary education and can now proudly say that I am a certified English teacher in two states for middle and high school. What’s more, I can officially say (as of a few weeks ago) that I am going to be a middle school English teacher come August. To say I’m excited is an understatement.

Now, my excitement does not merely accompany me to the classroom aisles at Staples, or freecycle.org when I see free sheet protectors posted (seriously, please check out this site immediately). My excitement is fueled by this new chapter when I hope to gain responsibility and a sense of pride. I am not scared of being stuck in a career or feeling unfulfilled because I know that this is one of many chapters I am capable of writing. Although I feel that my classroom career will be a wonderful fit, I know that if it is not I can still try again. There is something so beautiful about our twenties in this way: we can always try another time.

To this day, I do not have a valid passport. Admittedly, the only time I have ventured outside of the United States was on a bus to Canada with my ninth grade french class. But I do own suitcases, and if all goes well, I will have a passport photo to grimace at by the end of the summer. If teaching isn’t what I imagined it to be, keep me in mind for your next adventure: I may be found at a travel agency near you!


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