July 10, 2010

Kearney after Cambodia

Yesterday I made a much-needed trip to Kearney. I was craving Barista's coffee, but I was hungry for a reality check from my Writing Center friends.

The month I spent in Japan was "time-off" enough for me. I am ready for the next project, the next plan. The Japanese life counselor who gave me an incredible perspective on my personality, my health and even my past life suggested I look for a career that allows me to be creative while helping people. An assistant, she said, or better yet, maybe a counselor.

At this point in my life, any plan is better than no plan. I've always been that way. I took the counselor's advice and began researching the counseling profession right away. Working one-to-one with people who need help was very appealing to me. I excelled with these interactions in the Writing Center, so why not as a counselor? Upon my return to my parent's house, I asked my mom to help me get interviews with counselors in the community. We e-mailed into her social network, and the response was tremendous. So many people were willing to help me get started on my next adventure (and some even helped me with summer job opportunities!).

I had my first interview with a counselor this week. She gave me a realistic summation of her education, training, and experiences as a Licenced Mental Health Practitioner. Somewhere between the 3000 hours required for the license and the prospect of clients in crisis, I realized that counseling is a lot more than talking about life's little mysteries. This isn't to say that it's off my list of possible careers. The only things that have been crossed off so far are: actuary, accountant, surgeon, and professional athlete.

Back to Kearney. Inside Barista's with a soy latte lighting up my brain, I was catching up with Collin, my other half from the Writing Center. In the midst of our future plans and current relationships, we started reminiscing on our work in the Writing Center. I confessed that I would be happy to be a writing consultant for the rest of my life. For the rest of my life--that sounds like something worth pursuing. Maybe my youth and lack of experience are showing, but I can't imagine a job I would like more. I love writing, I enjoy the writing process, and I have a knack for working with people.

At lunch, my pseudo-mother from the Writing Center gave it to me straight. You can be good at anything, but you should do what you love. If you enjoy the WC, don't fight it--direct it!

This whole self-discovery business is really exhausting.