Dear Abby, You started out well with your advice today to the 39 year old who has been in a hated job for 15 years and wants to become an elementary school teacher. www.DearAbby.com.
“You are not incarcerated,” you began which was great, but your answers too often feel terse and/or unfinished. I expect to read, “Take your medicine, kid, and shut up. Next!” as you spy the next letter in a pile of thousands. More than once in the last months since I wrote about a stepfather’s death (Archives March 2013), I’ve mumbled under my breath at your short, breezy answers.
So here I am to help with my grandmotherly time and advice no one wants to hear and you certainly didn’t ask for.
Dear Potential Teacher, are you sure you want to be a teacher? Have you taken career tests that match you to your best potential? Have you volunteered in a school and worked with children? If not, please do.
Having said that, get off your draggy butt and quit looking at your 39 year old face as though it’s today’s old. It’s not, and it’s getting younger. Haven’t you heard any of the controversy about medicare and the draggy butts of my generation who are your parents? Washington D.C. is talking about age 70 for retirement so prepare yourself.
An aside here: Not every old person is trying to live off the back of your generation. I’m believing I can be frugal enough with my one dress and two pairs of shoes to live the one day to 30 more years I may have, so let’s get back to the real issue: your happiness.
Let’s say you have to squeeze those prep courses into life wherever you can and it takes you 5 years to be certified in whatever you ultimately decide is best for you. That will make you 44. Throw in an extra year for age 45 because you need time to look for a job, too.
All right. Now here’s the important part my young friend. Subtract 45 from 70. You get 25. You have a good 25 to 30 years ahead of you to work, given the present working world conditions. Besides, if a heart calls, it should be listened to. Start looking for a school today and send me a graduation notice.
Dear Abby, You told her to do it. What I wrote is only a different answer than yours because it’s removed from the dream state of desire and fantasy and put into today’s career realities. (Yes, at this moment I feel like I know everything.) Potential Teacher needed a strong hand and yours went limp.