I have felt quite a lot of frustration with my current work situation, which is mostly freelancing and therefore sporadic and doesn't pay well. I also work a part time seasonal job at a local elementary school.

I had a part time teaching job for three years at a local institution, but for a variety of reasons, it was unsustainable and I left after I finished up last spring. 

I applied for a couple of jobs at the end of the summer. They were positions that more or less align with my interests, and I was more or less qualified for both - more qualified for one, less qualified for the other. I didn't set out to do a job search last summer, but when these positions opened up I thought, why not go for it? Neither worked out. I did get as far as an interview with one place, but never got an offer. 

I know I'm being really vague on the details here, but it wouldn't be professional to reveal much more.

Anyway, I'm not crushed, but I'm disheartened. And frankly, I'm awfully discouraged in general. The only thing I know how to do is play and teach the piano. I used to think I was good at it, but I am not sure how much I believe that anymore, since I've been stuck in the same rut for so long. 

Sometimes I look at the pile of music I have to learn, and I'm filled with anxiety and dread, knowing how much time I will invest, knowing how very little I will be paid, and not even feeling that I deserve better because by now I must be firmly entrenched in my own mediocrity. 

It's possible I chose the wrong thing, that when I started college 20 years ago, I was hopelessly naive in going with a course of study with no guarantees, especially for someone like me with a bit of talent, a good work ethic, and just enough intellect to get by. I don't know how I got into a graduate program (probably because there was some turnover in the department and they didn't have as many recruits), but I did, and I just kept going for lack of anything else to do and then I had kids and lost myself for a while in parenthood.

Now I'm coming back to myself and I don't know what to think. I don't feel like a real grown up. I've never had a real job. I feel ridiculous.

I should have done something different. I should have chosen a course of study that doesn't shake my confidence on a regular basis. The arts were made for people better, more committed than I am.

I don't know what to do. There's nothing else I know how to do, nothing else in which I have expertise. If I go back to school and start over, I'll be in my 40s by the time I finish, and who would hire me? What if there's nothing else I like to do?


Julie said…
I don’t have tons of answers but I will say that I went back to school at age 41 and totally changed professions. Feel free to email me if it would be helpful to hear about some of the logistics. It was the right thing for me.

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