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I think I finally figured out what I want to do with my zoology degree. I have this elaborate, 5-7-year-long plan worked out in my head. It involves getting my bachelor’s and master’s degrees here, then moving to Washington state, getting my phD in Canada, and eventually working as a naturalist on boat tours from Washington up to southeast Alaska.

That is my fantasy.

This entire plan hinges on me getting one single job. A very specific job that probably doesn’t open up very often. It has me moving to the west coast, totally changing my entire life, and hoping I can get into the exact phD program I want to get into…. and this job, my dream job, only runs for a month and a half each summer.

Obviously, I need a plan for the rest of the year.

Once I have a phD, I feel like I’ll have a lot more options. I keep thinking I can teach in a college, work in a museum, be a naturalist for a state park, whatever I can find. My first thoughts are, with a phD, I can get whatever job I want.

My second thoughts are… I don’t think I’m very employable. I’ve always had a hard time getting jobs outside of violin. I’m not talking anything fancy. I mean I apply at Barnes and Noble and never hear back. Or I apply at Starbucks and they call and say they aren’t interested. If it’s a violin job, I’m good. Totally fine. Anything else… I’ve always had trouble.

So then I panic, wondering if I can even get my dream job. Or if I’ll go through 7 more years of school and then the boat people will be like, “Well, you aren’t quite what we’re looking for.” And since it’s such a specific job with few openings, I’ll just have to accept that. Then I’ll check with museums and parks and the college and they’ll be like, “Well, you don’t have much experience in this field. Your work is all violin-related.” If they call back at all.

Despite those worries, I have this dumb notion that this plan will work out. That even if I can’t get that job or can get that job but can’t get another job in my field, everything will be okay. Moving to Washington will be good for us, my husband will be able to get a job at a brewery, we’ll like the climate better, we’ll be happier. Or maybe that’s just me painting a pretty picture in my head like an unrealistic daydreamer, but it’s what I’ve got at the moment.

I have this obsession right now about changing my life and getting into other fields. I applied at a bookstore, but since I haven’t heard back, I’m going to volunteer at a different one. I want to get more involved in some kind of literary, writing community. Not just write on my own huddled in front of my computer, guarding my story like it’s my sick child, never letting anyone read it or touch it or even look over my shoulder at it. I might finally be getting to the point where I would let someone I’ve never met actually read the thing. I don’t know. Maybe.

I have this problem with patience. Once I make a plan that is a PLAN, not just an idea, I want it to happen now. I keep thinking, “Dang it, why do I have 5-6 years left of school here? Why can’t we move now?”

Obviously we can’t move now because we don’t have any money. And the town we want to move to doesn’t have a zoology program. OR a brewing program. So, duh, lady, that’s why you can’t move now.

But I keep wishing something could change now, even though we’re here for a while longer. Maybe volunteering at the bookstore will be the change I need. Who knows. Maybe something will happen with writing. I’ll magically get hooked up with the right person online and they’ll want me to start doing SOMETHING related to writing, aside from just working on my own story.

Yeah, because stuff like that always happens when you put little to no effort toward making it happen. There I go again. Being all realistic.

My point with all of this is… I think I’m ready for a change. A big one. I know going back to school was a huge step, but nothing else in my life has changed yet. I know it takes time and that things will start changing once I have my degrees, but like I said, I tend to be pretty impatient once I get an idea in my head.

I guess I’ll just keep looking around for new things to try. Keep my plan fresh in my mind. Keep talking to people about other jobs you can get as a naturalist. Keep learning as much as I can. And try not to get jaded and give up on my plan. It may be kind of out there, but if it works out I think it could actually make me happy. Even if it only partially works out, it will be an adventure. I need an adventure.


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