A few nights ago, I was given the heinous responsibility of finding all of our 2010 tax documents. As I rummaged through our files thinking that Real Simple magazine needs to swoop in and fix my mess, I found a file labelled job ideas. In this very dusty, 15 year old , file, I found little lists - magazine editor, art auction house director, pr with a big question mark next to it and a scribbled note "ask someone what pr is????", and teacher. Behind these notes, I found a bound document prepared by a professional psychologist.
Wow, I had forgotten that years ago my worried, proactive parents had sent me to a career psychologist. In her office, I took tests, answered questions, and even had to squeeze a ball as hard as I could, as long as I could. The end result of these two, probably expensive, days of assessment was the document that I was now holding in my hands. I think that at 21 or 22, when I went through this process, I looked through it noticing that my psychologist had diagnosed me with poor grip strength (that squeeze the ball trick). I guess seeing no rationale I hadn't really tried very hard. Or maybe I was just weak. I am still pretty lousy at opening jars.
I digress other than poor grip strength, I learned that the best career for me was .... drum role please ..... corrections officer. That's right, in jails/prisons - minimum to maximum security. I didn't take this news very well at the time - I remember now - I guess I pictured myself in a bad polyester uniform, carrying a club to protect myself in my work place. Who knows, I clearly didn't think deeply about this career idea and turned away from it in ignorance working my gen-x attitude of malaise.
15 years later I am finally finding myself in a career that I love and would do and am doing in my limited free time. In fact, sleep coaching is invading my consciousness. I dream about it, think about my clients while I drive to preschool pick up, and choose working on this little business over reading a good book and watching Mad Men. When I do watch Mad Men, I wonder is Sally a good sleeper?
Have I at last become a .... corrections officer? Let's think. My clients are often behind bars - in cribs, behind gates. They cry, act up, scream and get angry. They need help, and they need to feel safe. They test their families and test me - that's for sure. Also wouldn't you say that my goal is to 'reabilitate' these little sleepers? I guess I am just missing the uniform and the club (please keep in mind that I clearly have no idea what a corrections officer wears and certainly do not mean to disrespect anyone in this noble career).
Maybe I am just trying to connect these dots that span 15 years a little too literally.
I put the report away, gathered our tax stuff - a big surprise to my husband, handed it over to him, and opened up my computer and got back to work. The life of a sleep coach/corrections officer is pretty fulfilling thus far.