Labor Day unofficially signifies the end of summer and the start of football, school and all things Fall. I was kind of curious about the actual history behind it so I looked it up as I usually enjoy a good bit of history. Essentially , the first official federally recognized Labor Day has to do with President Cleveland rushing a national holiday through congress out of fear of further conflict after the deaths of union workers at the hands of the US Military during the Pullman Strike in 1894. Yeah, doesn't exactly make me want to eat a hot dog and light a sparkler either.
But this day is always supposed to be a working man's holiday, a day off from your day-to-day grind to relax and unwind a bit. I wish I was able to do either. I have had this nagging, growing unrest related to all things "work" lately. It's much different than my previous position where I just got exhausted even thinking about the work week ahead of me because I knew with unwavering certainty that it would be filled with running around, long days, late nights and constant pressure. Believe me, I am glad I am not faced with that each week.
Now it's more of a look ahead into....nothing. Nothing to excite me or motivate me. Nothing to set my sights on and set a plan in place to reach the goal. Just an expanse of basic humdrum everdays, with the occasional stressful proposal or asshole lawyer thrown in for good measure. And every Sunday night I have this thought over and over and over in my head as I try to get to sleep: this is not what I wanted to be when I grow up.
I know that is a thought shared by lots of other people out there. We find ourselves in jobs and careers you may have never even imagined doing. Never went to school and studied for. Life happens and sometimes you just sort of fall into things; that's certainly what happened to me.
When I was really little, I wanted to be a princess when I grew up. This was obviously before I knew you had to be born or marry into royalty, there wasn't a whole training program and application process.
Then I went through a phase where I wanted to be a paleontologist. I wish I could say I was making that up, but it's the honest to god truth. I have an obscene amount of dinosaur knowledge because I read countless books on the subject when I was around 10 or 11. Like encyclopedia-sized books. I am sure at some point I realized that wasn't going to work because a lifetime of khaki-colored outfits and limited ability to accessorize would probably drive me crazy. **Side note, while the movie "The Land Before Time" had nothing to do with my dinosaur infatuation and desire to be a paleontologist, I love, love, love that movie and dare you to watch it and not get choked up. I could watch it today with all of its sub-par animation and still cry like a baby like I haven't already seen the movie 1,653 times**
Later in life -- like way later, towards the middle of junior year of college -- I thought I wanted to work in higher education for the rest of my life as a univeristy administrator. There was something special to me about being on a college campus that made me want to work on them for the rest of my life, the familial feel that you got just being on the grounds of one drew me in and really seduced me. Then I spent a year after graduation actually working in the field as I studied for and took my GREs and applied and interviewed at schools noted for their Higher Ed Admin programs. And actually working in it made me question my desire to go back to school to learn how to do it.
So late in the game, I did my own sort of hail mary pass by applying to one school for its Film program. I thought if they accepted me without any portfolio of work from undergrad, it was a sign that it was what I was supposed to do. They did, so I said yes. Don't worry, I question my own decision making abilities too and so does anyone who has ever met me. But those two years I spent studying and learning and creating were some of the most exciting times in my life. My track of focus was writing and I spent two years telling stories and creating characters. I worked harder than I ever had at it, but knew I was good at it. And I was happy.
And that wasn't really a surprise to me because I had been writing and telling stories ever since I was very little. As early as second grade I was winning awards for my short stories (soooo.....between this admission and the paleontologist bit, I have pretty much admitted to being a HUGE childhood nerd, huh?) I excelled in my English classes and in any project where a creative eye and imaginative thinking was needed. Taking tests has always made me want to break out in hives. Oral presentations and lengthy papers? Easy peasy.
Writing and essentially telling stories is what I have always loved best. And just because I haven't made my profession in it, doesn't mean I should ever give it up. So what am I getting at with this LOOOONG winded Labor Day posting?
I wanted to say thanks to those of you who come here from time to time and read my little stories and musings. I know there are some that know me from "real life" but there are some I have never met and that is beyond cool to me. I hope that first and foremost I always manage to get a smile or laugh out of you, but second I hope I can make you think about something or show you a viewpoint that may be different from your own. I also hope that if you enjoy it that you keep coming back and maybe tell a friend. Because I know of so many people (famous and your average joe) that have been able to do the elusive and take something they love doing and turn it into something bigger. And for once I will go out on a limb and say "Why not me?" Only reason it can't happen is if I don't try.
So my Labor Day resolution (New Year's is overrated anyways) is that I am here on this little blog to keep writing and to keep trying. Because I don't feel like I have gone and completely grown up yet. I think there might just be some time left to try and be something that I wanted to be.