Almost two years ago I was working a really horrible job in customer service. I sat on the phones for 8 hours a day helping people with their family history work and interpreting their DNA test results to tell them where they came from. You'd think this would be an enriching experience (I know I was expecting that!), but it was the complete opposite. The clients I worked with were some of the rudest, most verbally abusive people I had ever worked with. I was yelled at, patronized, and even threatened with bodily harm on a daily basis. I was on such a short emotional chain that my self worth turned into what these people thought of me. I was told I was one of the best in the company and had people asking for me all the time, yet I still dealt with some of the meanest people on the planet. Not only that, I heard all kinds of terrible arguments between family members, I was yelled at by banks whose clients did not want to pay for our service even though they signed up for them, and I even overheard a cat be brutally attacked by a dog. I am scarred for life. It has been about a year and a half since I quit, and I still hurt over these things. My health deteriorated. I gained weight, I developed some new health problems, I had to have surgery, and I grew very depressed. Something had to change.
Two Christmases ago, my mom and I were sitting in the living room by the tree discussing my life. I had had another bad day at work and I was crying over my bleak future. I had a bachelor's degree in graphic design, and was dang good, but work prospects were few. So I ended up chained to a desk doing a job that required only a high school education. I felt like my life up to this point had been pointless. My mom was listening and commiserating with me as I vented. I refer to it as my mini nervous breakdown. She suggested maybe I needed to further my education to get an additional degree in something that I could make more of a career out of. We started thinking about what I should choose. Art has always been my life, and I had never pictured doing anything else. I had considered education before, bu decided I did not want to go to school for it. Then we thought about my blog and my love of books, and my mom thought library school. It clicked. I got very excited and immediately started investigating schools. I wanted to quit my job, but felt like I needed to stay and raise money for school. Three months later, I got the worst call I've ever had. I hung up and ran off the call floor in tears. I submitted my two week's notice a few days later, and got so sick to my stomach that I ended up being home in bed for the entire two weeks. But a weight had been lifted.
I began applying for schools, but was worried I had not made enough money to afford the program. I'm sure you can imagine my surprise when I was accepted into my number one choice, AND found out I had just enough money to afford it without having to work. What a blessing! I started the program in August of 2013, and while it's a ton of work, I feel like I am finally doing what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm still healing from some of the health problems that job brought on, but I have also received some diagnoses and am on some natural remedies that are helping me a lot. I'm happier than I've been in a long time. I also have a cumulative 4.0 in the program right now, which means I have received the highest possible grade in each class I've taken. I'm focusing on children's and young adult services, and hope to be a teen librarian one day. I am still so thankful my mom helped me figure out how to change my life. I'm actually excited about my future now. :)
So, tell me! Have you ever made a huge life-changing decision? Have you ended up in a different place than you pictured yourself ending up in? I know I never expected grad school, but this is the best decision I've ever made.