The muse had run away.

I can’t find words lately, at least not to post about here on my blog. I’m having some really interesting conversations via email correspondence that I’m loving right now. It seems that there are at least a few people in similar stages of life that I am that understand the conflicted desires of our hearts.

One thing I’m very encouraged by is that I’m not the only one who is seeking a deeper understanding of themselves and tries to connect to others in a deeply meaningful way. Some people spend their lives at one level of development, content with their superficial relationships with others and with themselves – or perhaps not content, but actively avoid looking too deeply at their lives.

I’m having a hard time articulating what I’m restless for right now. I have always loved the quotation,

The unexamined life is not worth living.

You get 10 points if you know who said it and in what context.

Need a hint?

It was some greek guy.

Give up?

Socrates said that at his trial for heresy. He was on trial for encouraging his students to challenge the status quo of the time and think for themselves. The sentence was death but Socrates had the option of suggesting an alternative punishment. He could have chosen life in prison or exile, and would likely have avoided death.

Right now I’m in that state of mind where I need some deep examination of where I want to go from here. But the hardest part of it all is that is has to comfortably co-exist with raising a family. My girls are getting older, and I’m beginning to realize what I need to do is start tilling the field to get ready for some new growth. I have rich fertile soil to work with, yet I have do the hard work of preparing to plant the seeds of growth again.

I’m planning on taking a class in the fall again at the local university. The biggest problem I face is narrowing down the choices of what I want to pursue in earnest. There are many things that interest me, but only a few that really call to my heart.

These right now are:

human development
psychology – both normal and abnormal
school counseling
gifted counseling
education (except I think I’d have a problem with being told how to teach)

Hmm. Notice something? Not one mention of science. 4 years of college education in science, 12 years of practical laboratory experience, and not one iota of desire to go back to it. Sad but true. It was such a productive career that really paid decently. But I no longer really feel it calling to me anymore.

My talents really lie in empathy and perception – I really would make a good counselor/therapist. I have always given insightful advice to people since I was about 15. I think I would be good at it and it would be one way to continue paying it forward. Think of all the people I could help if it were my profession to do so.

Hmm…perhaps I haven’t been stuck without a direction. Maybe it’s been here all along waiting for me to recognize what I really desire most in life.

I don’t know.

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6 Responses to The muse had run away.

  1. Papa T says:

    Some Roman guy said:

    Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit.”

    In English, it goes something like: There has not been any great talent without an element (blend or mixture) of madness.

    Seneca is credited with saying this. He, too, was ultimately ordered to death (by suicide) for his radical thoughts and alleged behavior.

    Developmental and behavioral researchers would probably be quite put off by your saying that studying their work would somehow be avoiding “science.” It’s all right that you are a “hard science” snob. ; ) Soft science has its fair share of snobbery, too. As a graduate student in Education, I can certainly appreciate your disdain for being “told how to teach.” I am quite confident that your problem solving skills will find ample fuel for the challenges you seek in the field of education.

    Despite my insight and articulate skills, I have decided to not pursue a “career” in counseling. [All the “hoop jumping” would frustrate me to no end.] Instead, I believe there is a place for me in teaching people how to “get more” from existing therapist/counselor interactions by improving their own awareness. We’ll see where it goes. Your “I don’t know” resonates with me…I don’t know, either.

    Thank you…for YOU!

  2. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Yes, I must admit I seem the hard science snob. But as much as I love psychology and studying people, and as insightful and articulate as I appear to be (and ever so modest)…I probably will not choose that as a career either.

    The reason is that I have this sinking suspicion that all too many people don’t want to be enlightened. Oh, sure they appear to be, but most sabotage themselves, falling into the same patterns of behavior again and again.

    Is it simply human nature to gravitate towards that which thwarts us? Is it a thrill/conflict seeking behavior we’ve become accustomed too? Perhaps.

    Believe me, I’m as at risk for this too. I thrived on conflict, having been conditioned that this was the only way to feel alive. I fear many more are out there like that as well.

    Can I do something about it? I honestly do not know. I’d like to think I will be able to do what I’m meant to do – impart some wisdom to those who will be able to use it.

    (so much is going on in my mind right now…not all of which I understand completely).

  3. Douglas Eby says:

    You wrote: “My talents really lie in empathy and perception – I really would make a good counselor/therapist.” There is a real need for multitalented people to counsel gifted students – and adults. Do you know about SENG? [site at ]

  4. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Mr Eby, thank you for your suggestion. I do know about SENG, I have used it for a resource numerous times.

    I appreciate the input very much.

    I have been told on more than one occasion (by gifted adults in recent exchanges) that I have given them particularly insightful advice. Perhaps it’s time I seriously consider investigating that type of endeavor.

  5. el burro says:

    Hi….just wanted to drop a quick note of encouragement in your new line of inquiry. I went all the way through medical school, loved the sciences, then had four children, homeschooled them, developed a necessary interest in gifted education, and now, I’m taking evening courses in a Marriage and Family Therapy program. I’m finding this area of study just, if not more, interesting and satisfying than medicine was, and I’ve met so many people that I can really relate to.

    Interestingly, most people who hear about my career shift are not terribly supportive. Most of them think of it as a step down, and some have even said that I’m “settling” or that I’m “shooting too low”.

    There isn’t much value placed on empathy these days. It’s a shame.

    But, back to what I originally meant to write…you go girl!!
    From what I’ve read of your writing, any one of the fields you mentioned would be rewarding for you. I say take the plunge and take a class or two…see how you feel.

  6. raisingsmartgirls says:

    It is a shame that there isn’t much value placed on empathy these days. I do my best to keep it growing here.

    Thank you for the encouragement. I’m sorry that you don’t get the support for you that you deserve. I do think that there is much value in what you are choosing to do. Best wishes!

    I will see what is available to me for the fall enrollment in these areas.

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