It’s been a while since I’d posted anything online, and I was beginning to think that it’s because nothing interesting has happened. More likely, I think I just got kind of scared to put myself out there again. This will be a short update as to what I’m going through.
Sometime in January I found work doing early behavior intervention for children with autism. Based on some of the things I’ve done in school and the experience of having a younger brother with autism, I seemed like a great fit. It wasn’t quite what I thought I’d be doing after college, but it seemed like something I’d eventually wanted to be involved in, and an educated guess as to something that I might actually enjoy.
As my training for the job began, I wondered whether I could really hold the position for very long because of a pretty simple yet fundamental part of the job:
I wasn’t very good at entertaining kids.
Being somewhat caught off guard by this, I wondered how I could get better at being a kid. Some days before work I’d watch kid shows and play with kid toys, trying to figure out how I had fun during my childhood.
Over time, after hearing the same feedback repeatedly from different instuctors, it became pretty clear to my employer that I wasn’t going to be a good fit for their company. On the day of my evaluation, I was called into the office to hear that they would have to let me go. Before I knew it, I walked out of there with my last check and a booklet to file for unemployment (even though I only worked there about a month).
I was a little upset, but I was also surprisingly relieved that I wouldn’t have to keep trying to make up for my lack of connection with kids.
Since then, I’ve come back to gardening with my dad, something that I thought I’d miss once I started working somewhere else. At one of the houses that I’d been to countless times, I finally met the owner when he approached us and asked:
“Oh, you brought a new guy. Who is he?”
“Hi, I’m his son.”
“Oh yeah! UCLA guy, huh?”
“Well, what are you going to do now?” I turned away from him, looking at a pile of leaves waiting to be picked up.
“Hanging out with your dad? That’s good, his hard work put you through school.”
“Hehe, yeah.” I smiled.
I felt stupid, irresponsible even. I’d gone to a good school without figuring what I want to do for a living, and now people probably question whether I have any ambition at all. I might have slept through the last nine months and not accomplished much. That’s a tough pill to swallow, but I think my disappointment is serving a good purpose if I’m willing to listen this time.
So that’s about where I’m at now. Maybe it’s square one, but at least I tried something. Now I think it’s time I try stuff until something sticks!
Thanks for reading,