Back when I was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (of course, back in those days is was Juvenile Onset Diabetes), I had a difficult time giving myself shots of insulin – at eight years old, you can imagine my fear of shots. Well, I worked with a therapist that helped me get over what I felt with shots and she used a visualization technique to help me get my mind of the pain – or fear of pain. The visualization she helped me with was in imagining myself in an ice cold pool of water – much like a pond of lake in the middle of winter. With that visualization, I was able to image my body being submerged in that freezing, nerve numbing water and found an ability to insert needles into myself on a regular and ongoing basis.
It was a technique that played well in my life in different circumstances. I used it to see myself in different situations in a successful way. And, it’s something I’ve used to help me decide on the best course of action in my life when it came to making decisions. For example, I used it when I first learned how to break boards in martial arts. I used it when I was imagining myself as a police officer before I made the decision to pursue it. I’ve also used it when I tried to imagine how I’d feel in whatever relationship I might be. It’s helped me in many ways.
Well, as some of you know, I recently accepted a role as a substitute teacher. My intention was to give myself the opportunity to be around kids to decide if I wanted to pursue teaching as a possible third career (after law enforcement and oil & gas). I’m only a half week into it, and I don’t care for it. I’m not sure if the restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic are playing into the atmosphere inside the classroom or if the altruistic vision I had of inspiring young mines was overly ambitious, but the first few days had me feeling in my mind that I wanted to run as far away as possible. I thought doing something like this would help me handle my life right now – putting my mental focus on something other than my problems would somehow give me the boost of confidence I needed to finalize pursuing teaching. But, I feel more like a prison guard than I feel like a positive influence towards academic inspiration.
So, I tried to visualize myself as a teacher and as an engineer – or at least engineer-esque (I’m not technically license/chartered as a professional engineer). Although, I had this vision of creating lessons and going over assignments and practice problems for students, I just don’t know that I have the energy and inspirational persona that kids in the classroom needs. Truthfully, I can’t determine if it’s my lack of confidence at doing something new or if I am just feeling the stress of inactive learning that teachers are claiming is 100% due to the pandemic. I’m not sure if this is for me or not and I don’t like that – I want to feel passionate about what I’m doing.
Oddly enough, a student teacher at the school had asked me questions about my former career in oil & gas and a certain passion to explain the drilling process popped up inside me and it made me feel secure, confident, knowledgeable enough to offer any explanation about it that I could. It highlighted something inside of me – applying the mathematical and scientific skills I learned in college to real-world solutions and challenges in a technical way.
The truth of the matter is that I genuinely enjoy data, exploring trends, implementing programs, establishing tasks towards a goal. And, at the end, I like looking at and analyzing the successes, but learning from set-backs to establish a better solution for the next challenge. I like it. I relish it. I want to do that. I just don’t know how to get there. Plain and simple – I want to do something where I can apply my engineering skills and experience in a way that positively impacts our world.
I’ve got two current applications in the process for selection of law enforcement positions. I’m committed to substitute teaching for at least another week. But I am considering withdrawing my law enforcement applications and calling the district HR and explaining that I made the wrong decision in accepting a substitute role. Of course, I’ll probably wait, because having something right now is better than nothing and I haven’t had any prospects of a job in the professional world in quite some time.