Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sometimes you just have an epiphany

A while back *cough 8 years ago cough* I had an epiphany. I was sitting at my desk doing that crazy bookkeeping/office manager job that I had been doing for the last 3 years when it hit me.
This was as good as it was ever going to get.
This was the most amount of money I was ever going to make.
This was the most amount of respect I was ever going to earn.
And this was the most amount of fun I was ever going to have at my work place.
This was not a passion.
This wasn't even a purpose.
This was a job, a chore, a task to be completed over and over again.

Life was looking pretty bleak. I didn't want to be a low paid bookkeeper. Not that there is anything wrong with bookkeeping but it just wasn't me. It didn't excite me. It didn't make me feel good about myself. I didn't take any pride in it.

My kids were in high school. My husband was coasting along at his work. And, I was just stagnant. It sucked.

So at the age of *cough 42 cough* I decide to get a college degree. I figured this was the way out of my boring job. It was my mid-life crisis. Hey, I could have bought a sport car or had an affair but no, I got a college degree.

I found that if I went to Washington State University I could get a complete college degree in an accredited program online. The bonus was that I could pay in state tuition. I worked full-time, took care of my kids, (yeah, so they ate a lot of prepared foods. They were high school students. They thought that was cool) kept my relationships with my husband, friends and family all in one piece (no easy task on a good day) and went to school full-time. It was not easy. It was a lot of stress. If JR wasn't the wonderful man that he is I wouldn't have made it.

Two years into school I decided that a degree in Social Science (back in the day we called this a liberal arts degree) wasn't going to get me anywhere. I needed a real degree.
A degree that could get me a real job.
One that would pay my student loans.
What did I do?
I applied at universities all over the country for a masters degree in library science. Yeah, because that's a real degree, HA!

Armed with a pretty good GPA (grade point average), a couple of nice letters from friends and a personal statement that was loaded with more bullshit than a presidential campaign I was accepted to Indiana University.

Three years after I started school I graduated. In fact, I graduated from WSU at the same time as my youngest son, The Boy, graduated from high school. I'd like to state that I had better grades. Not like it was a competition or anything but I got better grades than you did, I got better grades than you did, HA! Take that!

JR, the wonderful, quit his job. I quit my job. We sold the house, the travel trailer, and a whole bunch of other junk. We shipped The Boy off to college. The older Boy was already away at college so he was set. We packed up the house and off we moved, from Seattle, Washington to Bloomington, Indiana.

One year and 3 months later I graduated from Indiana University with a masters degree. I was eye balls in debt but I had found my purpose. Not my passion but my purpose. My passion would come after my first library job.

Six months after I got that first library job I went into a tattoo parlor to have the WSU logo permanently affixed to my body. Why? Because for 4 1/2 years my family put up with cold meals, dirty clothes and a mom that spent most of her time in her office getting those degrees. Because I worked my ass off. It meant something. It was important. It needed to be commemorated. What better way to commemorate an extraordinary achievement than a tattoo on my hip? That's what I thought. I love that tat. Why didn't I get IU's logo? Because it's crappy looking. I have standards.

I've only been out of library school for just over 4 years now and I've found my passion. I get to work with old stuff yet in a new technological way. You have all heard it before but I have the coolest job in the world.

And, it all started with an epiphany.

If you haven't found your passion or your purpose I would be remiss to not tell you to go for it. Sometimes it just takes shaking things up a bit. A boatload of money never hurts either but shaking things up is the best.



  1. It's a sad thing when people never discover what their passion is, but it is a far more sad thing if they know what it is and don't pursue it. You can quote me on that if ya'd like.

    And epiphany? One of my fave words, evah. Congrats on your journey and Cheers Michele!!

  2. That's pretty awesome. I had a friend in Texas who, at the age of 44, just up and quit his job that he had held for 18 years and went to law school. I think it that would be fun to do.

  3. I admire your courage. I want to change it up, I just can't find the strength to do it yet.

  4. You just described my job to a T. Worse than that, I hate it. And I can't quit because it's what Beloved needs me to do.

    YOU are pure awesome though. And so is your family for supporting you.

  5. You are VERY inspiring! And brave. I hope you are truly proud of yourself.

  6. Good for you! And Good for you for posting this. I too have my fav job, but it took leaving one job and then taking several tacky ones until I got what I loved. I have a wonderful job and I live on a farm and I get to farm. I couldn't ask for more.


  7. Great story!
    A lot of people have dreams or get epiphanies. But acting on it?? That takes guts and perserverance!!

  8. This is an amazing, wonderful, and inspiring story. My neice jsut got accepted into the Master's of Library Science program at San Jose State and so far all her classes are online. She loves it.

    You are going under the sunset with this one ; -)

  9. Yeah, but can you tell me what my passion or purpose IS? Because I've known forever that I'm missing it but I still haven't discovered it.

  10. Wow, what a story and what an inspiration. Good for you! You have a wonderful family, too.