Thursday, September 9, 2010

Struggling With Decisions

The first week after leaving my job as an accountant was spent house and pet sitting for some friends across the river. I spent the week there quieting down and resting. I did a bit of writing and spent a lot of time roaming around with my new DSLR camera capturing images of their adorable dog, huge cat and entertaining chickens. It felt good to quiet down and tap into my creativity.

Most of the writing that I did was journaling. When I say I jumped off a cliff trusting in the Universe to catch me, I quite literally mean I jumped off a cliff into the unknown not knowing what my next step would be. For me, journaling is a way of uncovering things that I may not have seen. It’s true that some things were uncovered but nothing along the lines of “what’s next?”

Through meditation, journaling and a couple of journeys I’ve been doing my best to stay open to the possibilities. A couple of options have come to light but neither of them have felt solid to me yet.

One option would be to sign up with a temp agency and do random warehouse, general labor or manufacturing type jobs while continuing to work on my writing and photography. Doing this sort of thing would give me the freedom to stay creative and focused on the things that center me and make me happy.

The second option would be to go back to school for a completely different career in the wind energy industry. Last night I attended an information session at the Northwest Renewable Energy Institute up in Vancouver, Washington to look into their wind turbine technician program. The idea of working on those incredible and awesome machines that are creating electricity without harming our planet sounds amazing to me. The industry itself has a government mandate to grow so things are booming. Right now the US gains 1.9% of its electricity from wind and the government wants to see it increase to 20% by the year 2030. Wind turbines are popping up everywhere possible. The program itself lasts 6 months and I would have to take out a student loan to make it happen. A $12,000 student loan. Plus, I would still have to do the temp thing to get by while in school. I just spoke to the admissions rep and she told me that as a woman I would have a better chance of being placed, as well. The first class that I could possibly get into starts on October 18th.

What I’m struggling with right now is do I get into that program, go to school for six and a half hours a day for five days a week while working full-time at temp jobs and thereby taking up all of my time? After six months I would have a career in an industry that I feel good about and where the starting salary is what I was making as an accountant. There would be no ‘typical day at the office’ and I could work anywhere the wind blows. I could also be a traveling technician keeping my homebase here in Portland then traveling to different projects and working on them for five weeks or something. It’s possible that I would have several job offers on the table before I graduate, as well. The one thing they keep emphasizing is to a willingness to relocate. I'm struggling with that because Portland is my home. I wouldn't want to live anyhwere else.

Or, do I take random temp jobs and explore my creativity more? I signed up to take a few writing workshops at the Wordstock Festival that’s happening next month and am really excited about that. I’m also showing a few of my photographs at the Butch Voices Art Exhibition. It’s the first time ever that I’m showing my work.

It’s funny. I’m noticing that while I’m writing these options out the wind turbine technician option sounds exciting to my mind while my other option of exploring my creativity more sounds exciting to my heart. That gives me even more to think about.

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