I might be the first person in my family not to go to graduate school. LowDramaGramma has her doctorate. LowDramaGrampa a master’s. LowDramaBigSister got an MFA. NoFussGramma is an exceptional nurse, NoFussGrampa an MD. NoFussUncle and his other half are both on the path to advanced degrees. It’s an educated group.

Me? I teach Pilates.I have certifications in other modalities as well. I joke with my clients about never having had a real job. 

What is a real job, anyway?

Does a real job imply that drudgery is at hand? Is a real job only the kind that pays? Is a job that doesn’t pay well or at all still meaningful work? If it is meaningful work, why doesn’t it pay or pay well?

 

Our occupations are assumed so central to our identities that warming up a conversation with “What do you do?” is a thousand times more common that “How do you feel today?” or “What are you thinking about?”, though I would argue that the latter questions, while unfamiliar, have a more interesting texture.  

We make a whole lot of assumptions about our acquaintances beliefs and stances once we know what they do for a living, though their jobs and careers may have everything or nothing to do with their passions. 

In places where the cost of living is, let’s say, almost out of control, being able to do what you love to make an actual living is often a matter of talent and hard work as much as it is of luck and connections. It is way too easy to fall prey to jealously of folks who seem to have become well-known overnight. That’s because becoming well-known overnight is pretty much an illusion; we have witnessed very little of the labor and striving that resulted in the great publicity and/or surge in clientele and success.

What I want to do is grow up enough that I stop comparing myself to others in my field and start using all the education that I do have to bring my career up a level, or three. I would like to teach students and teachers.  I would like to collaborate with my peers, not to compete with them. I would like to more assertive and less scared about undertaking something at which I might not immediately excel.

At the same time, I need to make a living.