The C-Word


“So, have you decided on a career yet?” my husband asked a few days ago.

Oh god, not the c-word. I don’t want a c-word. I don’t even want to think about a c-word. Not right now.

“What’s that?” I asked, as though I hadn’t properly heard.

“A career. Do you know what you want to start studying for?”

I shuddered slightly. That word again. “Not really.”

“Oh, I thought you’d know by now.”

Hold up. I have a baby who isn’t quite a year old. Where’s this career stuff coming from? I should be solid for another three or four years. Did he decide that Baby Girl was just going to go to daycare or that he didn’t need me at home to take care of her or something?

“Fine. I’ll get it figured out by Monday,” I muttered, scowling.

My husband appeared taken aback. “Well…you don’t have to figure it out by Monday, but I thought you’d know something by now. You were talking about going back to school a few weeks ago.”

Oh, that. So, between talking about buying a new car, moving somewhere between a 2.5 hour drive and a several hour plane trip away, and my plans to redo the house, (likely) hypomanic-induced plans from last month, the “go back to school” thing stuck. Not the moving. Or the car.

“Yeah, I dunno,” I said. “I was thinking about doing a lot of things then.”

“Well, if you did go back, what would you do? Teaching? Psychology? Something else?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Maybe you’d like to take a few classes here and there and figure out what you do want to do?” my husband suggested.


Had I gotten to do things my way when I went to college after high school, I would have declared pre-med, followed by psychology or sociology when “OMG so many years of school!” sunk in, followed by special ed when “OMG one extra year to get a Master’s degree!” sunk in.

But, I was a rebel and majored in English. How is that rebellious? you may be wondering. Well, a certain paternal figure who dissuaded me from accepting scholarships to any out-of-state colleges, persuaded me to major in elementary education.

“Women don’t make good doctors, you’ll never get anywhere with a psychology degree, only the teachers who aren’t smart enough to do anything else go into special education.”

The rebel in me refused to be in the position of having to be with 25 kids who have no sense of personal space day in and day out, so I fought and majored in English. Considering how well I did in high school and the various writing workshops I had taken, it made slightly more sense than majoring in math. 

Everyone keeps asking me when I’m going back to teaching. Eight years later and they still ask.   

FUCKING NEVER I tell them. Okay, maybe I don’t use “fucking,” but I do say, “never.” For someone whose hearing sucks (despite fancy pants hearing aids that cost several grand) and who nearly has an anxiety attack when being around so many kids now for 10 minutes, it just ain’t happening. Not to mention, my heart wasn’t into it the first time. And, not to mention, I couldn’t just walk back into a classroom. I’d have to retake tests for certification and stuff. Teaching isn’t like being in a gang, “once you’re in, you’re in for life.”

But, realistically, what is it that I want to do when the (dreaded) time comes?


After racking my brain, I finally came up with a lab tech. Like, someone who tests blood and stuff, but not someone who takes it. I looked around online and found a certificate program that I think might be what I’m looking for, so I might do something like that.

“But you could get your Master’s!” my husband tells me. “You’re too smart for that. You’d be selling yourself short.”

Fuck smart. If I don’t get my writing on in a big enough way to not have to go back out in the real world in a few years, then I want to be comfortable with whatever I’m doing. Or as comfortable as someone who doesn’t like interacting with or being around people that much can be. I don’t know of a Master’s degree (that will cost a lot of money) that will lead to such a c-word off the top of my head. 

I know my husband thinks he’s being motivating/supportive when he tells me things like I’m selling my self short or I could really do something important if I weren’t such an underachiever (what, I don’t know), but it’s aggravating. 

So. I’ll make a effort to do some more research on the lab tech thing in the coming months as well as try to think of some other jobs that I would be good at and be comfortable with. Or I will bribe the urologist to botch the vasectomy so I can have another kid in a few years and continue the c-word procrastination. 


35 thoughts on “The C-Word

  1. Marielli_ says:

    OMG this is like my husband he’s always like oh u should go back to work or go to school which I will eventually just not yet lol I’m a mom now so u work and take care the bills πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

    Liked by 1 person

  2. myambivalentexistence says:

    I completely understand this. Fuck , try into function in the real world as an adult is really difficult. I am a mother. I have three kids. I am damn good at it. My kids are happy , healthy, and well adjusted. But I can’t keep having little ones forever. So ….. I am growing into a person….. A person apart from my role as a mother or a wife or a daughter or a sibling. And it sucks. I am assured that one day it will be worth it. But it’s really uncomfortable and uncertain :/. Sorry for hijacking your post , but I understand and I wish you the best of luck in navigating this hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  3. cardamone5 says:

    Yeah, my hubby tries this type of helpfulness at least once a month. I know I need to go back to work, but him telling me just induces major anxiety. If only I could just make this writing thing work…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Just Plain Ol' Vic says:

    I have an MBA at a company where I probably have more education than the VP. Does that matter to me? Nope….because I love what I do.

    So don’t feel that you are being under-utilized. Do what makes you happy or is fulfilling. That would be the best favor you do for yourself and your mental health.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I don’t have any desire to work as a teacher anymore. Not even the slightest bit.
    I have no problem ‘selling myself short’ if I’m happy. I can do a lot of things. When I’m ready, I’ll pick one. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The last job I had before I got sick I began to think of doing something like Lab tech or pharm tech. Also, in some places they have transport only ambulances (like Seattle) where you aren’t an actual EMT, EMT, even if you are certified. You just drive a stabilized patient to a hospital while putting various pieces of equipment on said patient to KEEP said patient stabilized. I think I could do that one day if my B cells return. Exciting enough, but not super stressful.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. And the weirdness continues! I was also a teacher. πŸ˜€ I taught special ed (and your father could not be more wrong about his analysis of that situation) for 7 years. I also don’t ever, ever, ever want to go back. I do have confirmation that we’re not the same person though! We have different degrees…mine’s in theoretical mathematics. πŸ™‚

    I think being a lab tech sounds like a lovely job. If it makes you happy, I don’t think it matters if it fits with any idea of what you “should” be doing.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. See, now, I read your choice and the rationale and it makes perfect sense to me.

    Just because you “have the brains” to do something doesn’t make it a good fit. As I type this, I think of my mom’s lawyer telling me I mustn’t go to law school. He told me I’d hate it, I would lose part of myself to it, and he felt like I was mostly doing it to show myself how smart I was: “Guess what, Deborah! Everyone else already knows! Catch up!”

    He was so right. I would have done better to look at tasks and environment that I liked than chase an ideal that didn’t much mirror reality.

    At my current job, I spent a little while feeling really weird about how they treat contractors. “Is this who/what I am?” It took me a couple of weeks to realize that no person is defined by what they do for a living. Were I a janitor or a physicist, my worth as a person is derived from compassion and connection … not by any job title.

    Liked by 3 people

    • So hard to get that especially when you’re younger. I’m sure if my dad had stood in my way I would have done the same as I definitely felt like I had something to prove, especially to him. Then I would have wasted years on something that probably wouldn’t have made a difference in his eyes. And yes yes yes on that last bit πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Ugh- what is it with men- so focused on careers…A is always trying to find me something to do “on the side” from making cakes, selling my art, writing a book (that he would never read anyway because he hates reading) lol. They (men) must be wired to think about career and money- they see us as partners in a domestic enterprise to obtain more wealth. Granted I understand- and when the time is right you and I (and any other mom raising young kids) will go back to work when the time is right. I did the whole full time working mom for 3 years and still feel guilty for missing first years of W’s life and paying someone else to basically raise my kid. If only Sam and A understood we are saving them thousands of dollars in day care not to mention their kids are being raised by their momma’s- and there’s no price tag for that 😍😊 and LOL about having another kid to delay the C πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ clever! Damnit I better get my tubes untied that’s genius! πŸ˜†πŸ˜‰πŸ˜Ž

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sam tells me he doesn’t care if I ever get another real job (so long as he keeps his) but then he also likes to talk about me being the worlds greatest underachiever and wasting my talent. Boy hush!

      I know that has to be rough, leaving her, but I’m glad you’re able to stay home now!


      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL well I certainly don’t think raising two sweet kiddos is underachieving- men are wired to not appreciate the art of domestication πŸ˜‰πŸ˜„
        And yes I am so happy to be at home- I don’t feel like I’m living for Friday anymore lol I appreciate every single day and it’s such a blessing


  10. the-reluctant-parent says:

    I also have a degree in English and one in psychology and I used to do tech support work. Never again, I got to the point where I hated going into work every day and talking to the same customers and fixing the same shit they broke after I fixed it the previous week.

    I wrote my resignation but it took me a whole year to present it to my manager. I guess I’m a little slow or I just write drafts too damn early.

    I don’t know what job I’ll do when the kids are in school, I mean, I was a stay-at-home dad when the teenager was in elementary and middle school and for us, it just made more financial sense because if I got a job it would probably pay enough for me to pay for the kids to be in afterschool care and then I’d have to hire out my own transportation because this area of Texas is absolutely horrid regarding public transportation.

    I enjoy doing my music and apparently it has a positive impact on other people so maybe I’ll just do more of that, maybe take a class or two or get some private tutoring. I was never really good at sitting in a classroom anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I am probably the wrong person to answer considering I am in HR management and looking to get out of it (HR and management). I would love to be a lab tech or pharmacy tech, just that darn having to feed my child and such while I learn :/

    Liked by 1 person

  12. After teaching for 15 years, I think I’d be better off in a lab or a library. The job changed me.
    I do take issue with the parent who told you that “only the teachers who aren’t smart enough to do anything else go into special education.”
    Our job requires us to be curriculum specialists, proficient in all subject areas and counselors. Not to mention all the legal jargon and paperwork!
    I once worked with an English teacher who mispronounced vocabulary words all the time and didn’t know what denouement meant. It drove me crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

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