Monday, March 20

Thoughts about Vocation - again

I keep mapping out my life, but then wrenches get thrown into it. Ugh. My husband and I's plan was for us to go back to school, him for his Bachelor's and mine for my MBA, and then I'd go and be a financial analyst and he'd move up in his company. Well, the problem is, as again I've mentioned, that I am not feeling very satisfied with my job. Corporate America sucks the life out of me, seriously.

As I mentioned in another post, I heard a thing from Fr. Corapi on the radio last week about vocations, about how people can pray about their vocations throughout life, not just when they are trying to decide whether to become married or not. It really hit me, I need to pray about what vocation I should be. So I did, and I almost instantly got an incling if not a discernment - I need to work with special needs people.

I said, are you sure? And I seemed to see Down's Syndrome people all weekend long - I have an extremly soft spot for Down's Syndrome people. I thought - Ok, this is a bit of a sign. So I thought ok, now what am I supposed to do? And immediately again, I had a thought - the Catholic school just on the other side of the highway, about a mile from my loft. It specializes in developmentally disabled children from 6-21.

On Sunday, I mentioned to my RCIA teacher that I was considering using my Special Ed degree and going into teaching. She said, If you're serious, I've got a job for you. Whoa! Apparently she's been working with the Special Ed programs for years in the Catholic school system. I mentioned the school, and she said that they're always hiring teachers. I told her I wanted to work with high schoolers to teach them life skills, and she said that's exactly what they do at that school. I told her I wasn't certified but I had taken all of the classes and have a degree, and she said that she is the one that designed the study guides for the certification for Special Ed for the Diocese of Dallas Catholic schools, and as long as I pass the test I can get certified! She gave me a contact name to talk to, plus I'm sure I could use her as my "character reference" in my application since she's been there with me through my entire RCIA process.

I thought, ok, so I have a plan to get a job, but how am I going to survive on a teacher's salary. I looked at the salary, and it's a cut from what I'm making. BUT ... it would only be for 9 month's pay. I could easily work in the summers and end up having a take-home pay equivalent to what I make now. I imagine finding a summer school job in the Catholic school system would be pretty easy since most people would want to be at home with their kids and we don't have any kids. And if not, I could always temp for a few months. Plus I could ride the bus to work, which would mean that Dan could take that promotion (with a raise) to the manager relief pool that he was indirctly offered a few month's ago but couldn't take because we only had one car. I could cash out my 401K money and pay off all my debt (including taxes and traffic tickets), so we could go into this almost debt free. Being a teacher, I would be paying into a retirement plan, and with Dan getting a raise he could pay into his 401K plan at his work and we'd still be bringing home what we're bringing home now and saving for a good retirement.

In other words, this could actually work. I could work close to home, not have to commute, and be able to wear a Four-Way medal without my co-workers thinking I've turned into some kind of Jesus Freak. Dan would be able to further his career and hopefully get more job satisfaction as well, plus maybe even a little more money and opportunity with his company, which he is currently very happy with. And the thought of actually doing something meaningful with my life fills me with such joy I can't even describe it. I'm going to think about it for a bit, but I'm really hoping I can figure out how to make this work. We wouldn't be rich, but I'd actually be helping people. And it's not like we're rich now. I worked with adults with developmental disabilities for a year after I got out of college, and I loved it. But I couldn't live on the $5.15 they paid me. So I got a basic office job, and now here I am.

I hope I'm not crazy for thinking I could do this.


At 11:46 AM, Blogger Brad Haas said...

I don't think you're crazy.

For what it's worth, John Paul the Great had a soft spot for Down's Syndrome people too. Maybe he can help you in your discernment.

At 1:22 PM, Blogger EHa said...

For me as a German, it was almost a personal loss, would you leave the ominous Big German Company. But on the other hand, I am just amazed how couragious you are - I hope it all works out for the best. God bless!

At 3:16 PM, Blogger Julie D. said...

I'm likin' it ... especially the way it all seems to be falling right into place once you were alerted to that possibility.

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Cynthia said...

Brad -
Thanks for that tip! I need all the help I can get. I'll make sure to send up an intersessory prayer to him.

Trust me, this Big German Company makes enough money, losing me won't hurt their bottom line one penny (or deutchmarck).

It's totally odd how it literally just hit me in a huge wave this morning how this could all actually work out. It's kind of scary. Now if I can only get the nerve to do it.

At 5:01 PM, Anonymous "omis" said...

I want to echo Julie D's comment. The Holy Spirit may work through inspiration sometimes, but seemingly serendipitous events are a favorite as well!

This is a very exciting possibility!

At 5:29 PM, Blogger EHa said...

Alas, the times of Deutschmark are long gone by...
Anyway: "Love, and do what you want", says St Augustine. I would like to alter this: "Pray, and do what you feel is right". Though is there really a difference?
Once again: God be with you!

At 4:08 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

Both my husband and I have had the privilege of working in jobs where we help people, since we got out of college. It is enormously satisfying, to be able to perform corporal or spiritual works of mercy every day at work. I hope that your career change works out for you!

At 8:27 PM, Anonymous Celticcherokee said...

Both you and your husband working, no children, and you gave money a second thought?! TRUST GOD!!
BTW, My husband is a school teacher. I stay home with 5 children. (and we could even afford braces on the teenager!)God always provides.
I did work when we first moved to TX (when we had only one child) with profoundly disabled children in a school. So many blessings come from it.
Go for it!
blessings abundant,


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