Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Night of the Rambling Thoughts

Two coffees in the mid to late afternoon yesterday equalled a night of insomnia. Thus, a night of thinking and musing, especially about the future.

I've been feeling really ambivalent about my work lately, for a number of reasons. At the forefront is this amazing SAHM summer I'm having. I enjoy being with my child for the majority if not all of the day. Before the arrival of AwesomeKid, I had always thought that I would be unhappy, bored, and unfulfilled if I was a full-time mom. I don't think that's the case anymore. Additionally, the past two years at work have just been rough. I know that's because I was pregnant/pumping/adjusting to motherhood for this whole time. I know that when I go back for the fall semester things may be different, but I'm scared that they won't.

Being a musician and a teacher/music director has been part of my identity for my entire adult life. It's weird to feel myself losing enthusiasm. Working with the younger set is easy and not as challenging as it used to be, although there is still a lot I could improve upon. Working with the older (teenage) crew has just been an exercise in frustration for the past five years, if I'm totally honest about it. I don't think I'm cut out to work with teenagers, but it could be the school climate I'm working in -- all boys, machismo values, sports above all, slackerdom rampant... And the over involved parents and their endless emails trying to wrangle special treatment for their kids... At the end of last year I really felt like giving up, but I signed the contract anyways.

Plus, I have issues working for a Catholic instutution. I'm not religious, and I strongly object to the Catholic Church's anti-feminism, sex negativity and bigotry regarding homosexuality. I don't like being one of the faces of that instutution in the minds of my students.

So, there are a lot of negatives associated with the current work situation. But it is the devil I know, and the city I live in does not support arts education in its public schools, for the most part. So there it is, I guess.

Rattling around in the back of my head, though, is this totally other field of work. I've been fascinated with birth and birth advocacy since my Bradley classes and my husband and I's amazing birth experience. The enthusiasm has not dwindled. I find the natural process of birth amazing and transcendent, despite its earthy, guttural, primitive quality. I cry when I read birth stories. My husband and I still talk about our AwesomeKid's birth on a fairly regular basis. I read articles about birth and the controversies surrounding the home/natural birth communities and hospital protocols. I firmly belief that the treatment of women in pregnancy and labor/delivery is a feminist issue, though it is largely ignored.

I'd really like to get certified to teach Bradley classes, since the method worked so well for my husband and I, but there's no way that would bring in more that spending money. I've thought about doula-ing also, but I am really really not good when I don't get enough sleep, and what would I do with a client like myself (27 hours of labor)? I was a zombie after coaching my sister's birth, and her's was fast - 12 hours from start to finish. I don't know...

But it still appeals to me. It sounds fulfilling. It'd be a completely different line of work. There would be wack hours, but more time not working... I'd be my own boss. I could subsidize with performing - my first love before teaching... I don't know. There's a training for doula/birth educator certification in my city in a few months. Is this something I should check out? Or am I just burnt out and looking for an escape from the current job? There are a lot of other things I could attempt within the field I already know - setting up a private studio, attempting to find a new school, gigging... How much of all these thoughts are pipe dreams and how much could really work for me?

1 comment:

  1. I think you should check out the certification! Maybe it won't be the ultimate answer, but don't stick with something you don't love just bc it used to be your dream. Dreams change! Go with your heart. :)
    -Jen Lee