Today the little penned number in the corner of my calendar says "15". That's how many days until I end the 7 year stint at my current job and 10 years of "being an Audiologist". That doesn't count the six years of college education dedicated to the pursuit of this specialized degree. I first realized I didn't want to be an audiologist about six months after finishing my degree when I lost my first job. I thought about hiking the Appalachian Trail, but ended up in Maine working at my second audiology job. I don't know if I'll come back to this profession. That gets me to the "What now?" question. I deal with clients all day and they want to know why I'm leaving, what I'm doing next, what my plan is. Let me tell you, people don't feel satisfied when you look at them helplessly and say, "I really don't know yet."
I have a little bit of savings but not enough to last forever despite feeling like I need to make it stretch that far. I've considered the costs involved in hiding on the couch under a blanket versus traveling, hiking, writing, making bread and necklaces. The couch/blanket option makes the cat very happy and would extend my finances the furthest but I'm guessing that'll get boring real fast. Plus, how can I figure out what to do next if I'm not interacting with the world around me?
I am not complaining about this situation. I created it, it's been a long time coming and I'm full of nervous excitement and a little healthy fear about my future. I feel grateful for having the space, time and support to venture in a new direction. The last time I set myself on a new course it was 1993 and I changed my major from English to Speech & Hearing Sciences. I was only 19 years old. Now, 15 years later, I get to explore a new path. I did lose my compass this weekend so hopefully I won't get lost.
I bet you don't know anyone, besides me of course, who currently has two baggies of fermenting bread dough in her desk drawer at work. Kim brought me some starter for Amish Friendship Bread. It's sort of like an old-fashioned chain letter but with food. Also, the Friendship part is a misnomer. It should be called Amish Death Bread. The final (delicious) product contains almost 2 cups of sugar, 3 eggs, 1 cup of oil and a box of vanilla pudding. So, I have the starter for that bubbling away in my desk drawer.
Last week I began the experiment of building my own normal sourdough starter from flour and water. It requires a lot of babysitting. My starter didn't rise enough overnight so it commuted with me to work today. I'll be able to keep an eye on it. I wonder if that would qualify me for the HOV lanes in big cities?