“Well, it’s not impossible,” my physiotherapist said. I’m over 50, with a recent BSC, and I’m looking for a new career, one that is actually gratifying beyond just a paycheque. It’s not likely or easy, I realize, far from it, and I’m going to have to seriously kick butt to make it happen. It’s too bad I kinda wasted the last year and a half since I graduated, flailing in emotional turmoil waiting for my soon-to-be-ex to see the light about how wrong he was and how wonderful I am. I’m a living punchline.
I’m not ready to “retire,” neither emotionally nor financially. I’ve met a lot of retired people lately. They dote on their grandkids and otherwise spend much time socializing at coffee meets and potlucks, playing board games, walking in the park, at least on the superficial level that I know them. I’ve met them because I needed to meet new people after my much-younger husband dumped me. These people retired from satisfying careers – 28 years in the RCMP, 30 years in accounting, decades as a professional geologist. Sure, I’ve had two jobs that lasted 8 years or more, but they never felt like careers to me. They were dead ends, and not particularly gratifying. One of them I still hang onto as part-time work to support myself. But now I want a career. Most people my age are retiring, but I’m at the starting gate, career-wise.
I wish I had had a clue that my marriage was about to implode. I would have gone for a program that almost certainly leads to a job – some two-year tech thing at BCIT. Instead of a four-year science thing at a university. I went with my heart, just like in my marriage. I went with what I love, to learn about it and improve my mind, and try to connect with people researching in the field, or at least my classmates up at the university. Well, now I’m trying to nnect more than ever, on LinkedIn, because my former classmates have the jobs I now need.
I thought I was gonna be supported in exploring intellectual ideas, after I supported him and planned my life around his education for more than 5 years. I thought it was my turn. No, suddenly he’s all about what’s in it for him. Oh, wait, that’s what he was always about, I now see. Using people for what you can get from them and walking when you’re not getting what you want. I thought our marriage was more than that.
So… I am going to a conference in a few weeks, with professionals that may have started with a similar education to mine. Environmental science. I am pretty good at GIS and remote sensing, which connects to environmental science as it’s all about processes extended across the land. Just need to find my niche. Wish me good luck. Would be nice to have some good luck, first time in my life.
Wait, that’s not fair. I am healthy and born in Canada, not the third world, so I’m luckier than many. But beyond that, please, I’d like some good luck! And I’m doing what I can to make that happen – networking, learning, taking the smartest approaches I can to job hunting.
Just let me work! Someone told me recently that 70 is the new 50. Okay, then 55 is the new 35. So hire me, okay? I’m smart and reliable! Yes, I’m a fucking weirdo, but that shouldn’t affect my work, right?