Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I won't cry, I won't cry, no I won't shed a tear (Ben E. King)

Credits: Jens Lelie (Unsplash)
It's sometimes interesting to speculate on what might have been. 

I come across articles from time to time about the choices people make. Recently, this one from Medium.com caught my eye and my thoughts turned to my own decisions.

Unlike a friend of mine who found himself in the wrong queue and ended up as a teacher (a shout out to P.J. - a fine human being and a great English teacher) I decided on that career when I was 12 years old. I wasn't faced with two forks in the road at that point.

Having found my bliss, from that point on, my path has been set. 

I finished at Mt Albert Grammar School, having failed School Certificate the first time and Bursary (in Year 13), and went off to Auckland University intent on a Masters degree in English (Auckland because my parents lived there and I had no need to leave home).

My pathway lead to my first job (no choice was involved - I only had one positive interview) in New Plymouth where I fell in love at first sight with a beautiful girl. We married and started a family.

My career and life decisions since that one age 12 have been dictated by pragmatic responses to family situations in the most part, but the pathway has remained.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

My teaching career eventually lead me to the position of Principal for a few years and it was then that I was faced with a two roads situation. 

One road, the safe one, was to remain on the well traveled path and remain a Principal. The one through the undergrowth was to accept a contract to work in The Middle East as a consultant.
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

In the end I rather selfishly did what I needed to do. I wasn't happy and knew that wasn't about to change and I needed a fresh start after dad passed away in 2009. So SWMBO and I went to Qatar and then the U.A.E. and it was amazingly fabulous.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

The danger at the time was that I would be giving up my teaching career and subsequently it proved very difficult to get back into it in 2013.

So - no regrets Coyote? Well maybe one.

I have flirted with the idea of doing a doctorate for thirtyish years off and on.

It wasn't an option back in 1993 because I had a teaching studentship and they'd already been a bit prickly when I told them I was going to do post graduate work.

In between Qatar and the U.A.E. contracts I was in the middle of enrolling at Waikato University to do a PhD in English (or education - I was still thinking). The idea was that SWMBO would earn our keep while I studied but Cognition kept asking me to reup and after a while, I did.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

After The Middle East (and a sidebar stint in China), I accepted a Head of English position at Woodford House and there have been no regrets about that either.

I'm not sure about what's next. Maybe the road less traveled needs another go? Time will tell.

"You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need"
(The Rolling Stones)

Love and peace - Wozza

No comments: