My Mid-Life Crisis Lasted 30 Years
Yeah, that’s my mind, all twisted and wondering which end is up. It has been like that for over 30 years. I didn’t like who I was, what I was, where I was going. It’s hard searching for yourself for so many years. But there’s something about turning 75, going to Europe for the first time, publishing a book, losing everything on the computer, and getting Covid to bring a perspective to life.
I was the first person in my college graduating class to have a job before graduating. The previous February I signed a contract to teach in Hawaii. Dream job, right? I just didn't want to teach — at all, anywhere. I was resisting the ever-present visual disability that governed what I could and couldn’t do. But that disability put me through college with no debt. The state program was designed to help students who had limited career opportunities; for me it was pretty much “just teaching.”
A bit of a problem, since I already had a guaranteed job, but as my political science professor said, “How bad can teaching in Hawaii be?”
He had a valid point. I loved Hawaii, I loved my students, I learned a lot about myself. But I returned to the mainland after three years because there wasn’t a social life for me (like there was in Vermont... snort). I worked for a few weeks in a public defender’s office, interviewing some pretty shady characters for a miserly salary. I applied for and got a teaching job in a middle school down the road.
It was a good three years, started a drama program, and met my husband. We married on the last day of school, headed to Phoenix the next day, and I got a job selling insurance. After all, my dad had been insurance commissioner for the state of Vermont.