Growin’ Up – A blog about life about Smith by Lauren Kaelin ’10 : Comfy Career Couch

November 30, 2010

My mom recently got a very sweet note from a relative I’ve never met. Second cousin once removed or something. I’m loosely quoting, “My mother always spoke so highly of you, when I was looking for a path to follow, and yours was the one I chose.”

And this woman did, to a certain extent, follow in my mother’s chosen career footsteps. She became a nurse and joined the army, worked in a hospital, and now I think, teaches. Just like my mommy.

I think there is something to be said for taking a well-established, well-worn path. My sister knew she wanted to be a teacher since she could conceive of a future. I’m not kidding. Most children play with dolls, trucks, but my sister brought a briefcase full of paper to school. Lined paper ledger pads. My sister taught me long division in her closet-shaped classroom. She rang a small golden bell to signal the start of the school day, she took my attendance, and gave me homework. She went to Smith, got a degree in Education. Now she’s is getting her Master’s while teaching 4th grade and she gift wraps young adult fiction that she buys with her pay check. She takes them on field trips to Sandy Hook and has succeeded, you know? Simply put, my sister has arrived at her career. Done. Best Teacher Ever.

I don’t really know how it works. I think some people consciously step onto a path—through an aunt they admired, or when they picked up a ledger pad at the age of five. But maybe you don’t realize some paths until you turn around. Look how I got here.

I guess I’m wondering how this all fits together, how it will fall into place. Baby steps up the corporate ladder. Tiny moves forward and small increments added to my bank balance. I’m wondering when I can recline in my comfy career couch and sip Mai Tais, figuratively speaking, and talk about how I got there.

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