So I know I shouldn't be worrying about it right now. I have the rest of my year here in Israel to continue to explore who I am, what I care about, what I stand for, what strengths I want to employ, and what kind of environment I want to spend my days in. This is no time to be worrying about where I'll be next Fall.
So you tell that to my subconscious.
So just to get it out of my head and onto "paper" and make Julia Cameron proud...
Here, in no particular order, is the nonsensical, unconnected, and ill-researched list of careers battling it out in my mind whenever a teacher takes a pregnant pause:
1. Go back to the world of my last job: Jewish non-profits.
Pros: kosher food, easy access to Rabbis and learning, generally a supportive environment, no issues with Shabbat or holidays, clearly a subject that holds interest with me, more likely to be on the laid-back side and definitely a cause I can get behind. G-d willing I'll be getting married in the not-incredibly-distant future and this job is likely to give me enough peace of mind to focus on building a home and accepting stray socks on the floor.
Cons: I have trouble being excited about any job that requires no specific education from me. Unless I'm using my year in Israel (which is very doubtful) then I have no specific training in Jewish non-profits other than my half-year spent there. I'd rather do something that either uses my degree (Drama) or requires additional training from me, partly because then I'm not as likely to be working with other people who just walked in off the street. Also, the non-profit world can be the biggest headache and has no advantages when it comes to compensation. Little opportunity to create any programming or give much input. Lots of mind-numbing tasks.
2. Teach for America
Pros: Giving back to NYC, teaching, generally getting off earlier in the day, summers off, decent pay, challenging, no commitment to "becoming a teacher," another cause I can get behind. Personally in control of lesson plans, projects, etc. Plus I'm a geek for school, so I'd probably like that. A chance to explore a field that would be VERY good for my lifestyle. Amazing benefits in the long term.
Cons: Headaches and heartbreaks. Horror stories from the teachers and horror stories on behalf of the students, stuck with a largely undertrained teacher. Stress and frustration during what might be the first year of my marriage which is not something I want to bring into my home.
2a. Get a masters in teaching
Pros: All the good stuff about teaching, but bypassing the inner-city potential nightmare.
Cons: Making a commitment to a field I don't know. Slightly less noble than doing TFA.
3. The Theater World
Pros: Amazing people. Using my degree. A field I love. Literature, lighting, acting... love it. Wouldn't get that nervous feeling of regret I'd get going into any other field. Constant change of scenery (no pun intended). Working with people who are asking questions. Authentic people. Different jobs. Constant learning. Working project-to-project means I can take time off when I want and have kids when I want.
Cons: I have no idea what this really means... the Theater World? I don't want to act anymore. I'd love to direct. I'd love to be involved with a company. Maybe write. I don't want to do anything that requires me being in on Shabbat (lights, stage management). No pay, no consistency, much less experience backstage than onstage. Lots of people who are twisted and value-less.
4. Go back to school and pursue a Psych PhD or a PsyD.
Pros: Becoming an expert in a field that is interesting to me. Furthering my education. The opportunity to counsel and teach at a uni level. Having an impact on the field of mental health. A job that wouldn't specifically make it difficult to make aliyah should I ever go crazy enough. Counseling can be good money. Helping people.
Cons: A LOT more school. Very competitive. Lots of horror stories about being a woman/becoming a mother in such a competitive field. Would have to invest in a post-bacc, only after which would I have a really clear idea if this is the field for me.
4a. Go back to school and pursue a Masters in Counseling or a MSW.
Pros: helping people, interesting field, get to go back to school.
Cons: again, making a commitment to a field before I know for sure how I feel about it. Might still need to get a post bacc. Only working one-on-one when I enjoy teamwork.
...and this is where I almost always come to the point of, "Thank G-d I have several months to learn and grow and change before I need to make this decision!" Which I guess was the point from the beginning.
But any ideas, advice, or good jokes would be appreciated.