I chose my career path at the age of seventeen. At the time, I was a senior in high school taking an evening American Sign Language class at a local college. I loved everything about it — interacting with the community, having new experiences, learning the language. It was exciting. During that year, I went to an event sponsored by a community college in town that involved camping for a weekend using only visual communication (no talking whatsoever). It wasn’t my first time going to this particular event, but this time I had invited my cousin to come along. She is the only deaf person in my family and I thought she would enjoy the experience.
That was truly the first time I had ever communicated with my cousin in a way that was truly accessible to her. After that weekend, I knew that my initial plans to go to the Ohio State University and major in women’s studies just wasn’t what was meant for me. Instead, I enrolled at the local community college and started ASL classes the week after graduating from high school. After earning an Associate’s degree in ASL Interpreting, I then went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in the same field. Over the past decade, I have loved my profession, the people I get to work with on a regular basis, and the experiences I have been privileged to have as an interpreter.
I have just crossed into being in my thirties and I find myself wondering “what else is out there?” I’ve been in this profession for over ten years now — what else could I do? I have, of course, done a variety of things within my profession in this time period. I worked in a high school, in a center processing video-based phone calls, in the community, at conferences, etc etc. I’ve taught future interpreters; I’ve done research in this field; I’ve led a state interpreting organization. Of course I can grow, there is always room for that. But that question still lingers: that desire to know what else I could be good at.
I’ve been battling with two very conflicting feelings about this desire. One is this ongoing feeling that I sound incredibly ungrateful by wanting to discover other things. I was welcomed by a community, I have been given so many wonderful opportunities, etc etc. How could I leave that? (But would I truly ever leave it?) The other is that of course I should explore. I’m relatively young, life is short, and I should do what it is that brings me joy. We all should.
I know I am nowhere near ready or able to switch into another career/life path. In lieu of that, I am making it my mission to do whatever I can that will bring me joy while also balancing my 9-to-5. So far, I’ve decided that means: becoming a blogger, teaching myself some basic graphic design skills, creating more (crochet, other crafts, drawing skills, cooking, etc), bullet journaling, and working on the Etsy business I run with my partner. Plus there are other things like reading more frequently and more broadly, traveling as much as possible, and spending time with my loved ones.
This sounds like a lot. Obviously it cannot all happen at once, of course; that would be very overwhelming! However, I all too easily fall into the trap of spending much more time than needed idly looking at my phone, scrolling through Pinterest with no real reason, or binging on endless amounts of Netflix. These have their place but definitely not if I want to incorporate these new joy-bringing endeavors into my life.
So welcome to this blog! I’m happy to have you here with me as I learn new things, chat about life, and share what I learn along the way.
Beginning November 2017: