Picking A Job That Won’t Drive Me To The Bottle

I left off the last post telling you how I worked myself up into a hurricane of horrible worry — a worrycane, you could say — and temporarily abandoned creative pursuits in favor of a something more serious and soul-crushing: a stable career. OK, so it’s not as dramatic as all of that. Working isn’t half-bad bad. Actually, it’s probably somewhere between half-bad and three-quarters bad, but not totally bad.

I know some of you were thinking, “How did he know the first draft was so bad?” after my last blog post, and I would have probably thought the same thing if I was reading this on your bloggity blog. To clarify, it’s not that I thought the draft was garbage from the first word until “The End,” but rather that I knew the thing needed a ton of work to chop the bad parts out and make the good parts, well, great. I know enough about my own writing to recognize that sometimes, periodically and seemingly by accident, I have a tendency to write stuff that is downright bitchin’. But just having some gems in the manuscript wasn’t enough. It was going to take work to polish them up. And work, my comrades-in-arts, takes a whole mess of time if you want to do it right.

Anyways, back to the matter at hand. I needed a job. No, not just a job. A job is just somewhere you show up every day and try not think about how you’d rather burn the building down and salt the smoking earth rather than show up for another eight hours. I needed something that I could look forward to doing everyday. Something that I felt mattered, even if it was only a little.

“Something that matters, huh?” my brain said. “Vague, but okay. What’s something that matters?”

That was the challenge, wasn’t it? How did I go about finding something that mattered to me?

I looked to my experience — especially from the military — for an answer to that question. The Army had given me some solid insight into how much needless suffering there is in the world from health related issues. As a solider I was ill equipped to do anything about it, but as a civilian I might be able to provide some relief. The intuitive choice for me was to become a doctor. I know, I know, it’s a lot of work. But me and work are BFF’s when we need to be.

The internet is a great place for finding stuff and it didn’t let me down when I poked around  for info on becoming a doctor. The thing is, instead of just finding out how to become a doctor I found that the med school route might not be the best one for me. Primary care isn’t the hotspot for docs these days, and primary care was what had my attention. Instead, I found that nurse practitioners are the hot jam for what I wanted to do. So I decided to go for it.

Yep, just like that and I’m on my way. I’m up to my carotid artery in science and math but it’s totally worth it. I hope.

You might think that’s about it, but there’s one tinsy-winsy thing I’ve left out. A little over five months ago my wife got some news that makes a steady job so totally, incredibly, massively important.

I’m going to be a dad.

More on that — and what has got me writing again (yes, I’m writing again) — in the next post.

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8 thoughts on “Picking A Job That Won’t Drive Me To The Bottle

  1. congrats on both the nursing path and the baby. as someone who writes and who has a non profit (part-time) job that I don’t hate, I can relate. I also have two kids, so I can relate to the feeling of suddenly giving ‘hostages to fortune.’ I’m convinced it can work out. You just have to make sure you never give up (don’t stop writing.) Good luck!

    • There been a lot of stuff happening recently that’s sort of woken up the writer in me. I definitely won’t be quitting, just trying to figure out how to fit it in with all those other pesky responsibilities of life.

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