Where To Begin?

The other day I was talking to the head librarian at the library, about the options for someone who wanted to be a librarian when she grew up. I've been toying with taking a one-year library technician course at a local college, but the website says something like, "With this diploma you can find work at public libraries outside Toronto." But not inside Toronto. If I want to work at the TPL I have to either get a Masters or work my way up the ladder for decades. Well heck. If I go into library work, do I want to work at a public library or do I want to work for a law firm or a corporation? I'd like to at least keep the option of public library work open. We talked about the Masters of Information Studies at U of T, which would be great if I can get in, apart from being pretty expensive.

So I went to the U of T website where I found this:

Applicants who graduated five or more years ago but without achieving sufficiently high standing for admission to the School may be considered for admission if, since graduation, they have done significant, intellectual work and/or made a significant professional contribution which can be considered equivalent to a higher academic standing. This contribution and its impact on the profession must be detailed and documented (e.g., publications, research, professional advancement, development of new skills, responsibility, etc.) and presented as part of the application.

I haven't actually checked to see whether my BMath marks are sufficiently high, but since they are best described as dismal I can only assume they won't be. I spent ten years in a field which I hated and so I wasn't exactly a stellar employee, and then I stayed home to take care of my children, and last I checked they don't actually give out awards for that. So maybe, just maybe they will let me into this program with a lot of sweet talking, more likely I will have to take a few undergrad courses (which would be fine) or worst case, I would have to take a whole new undergrad degree. Which will take years and cost a billion dollars which I don't really have because we're in debt and we haven't saved a penny for the girls' educations.

If I could give a high school graduate one piece of advice, it would be to take an undergrad program that is easy enough for you to graduate with good marks in, because not having a four-year degree with good marks closes off so many career options. I wish I had known, I would have switched into English like I thought about doing in 1A. That is my one Erica Strange-style regret. I should have listened to my gut and not stayed in math to try and impress the boys. You have one opportunity to be shiny and if you blow it, it's over.

That's not true. I could start afresh and get a whole new undergrad degree, and I guarantee I would kick ass because I would choose something I'm passionate about (not math). But man... the years, the money. Am I just making excuses? Should I bite the bullet? You hear all the time about people who go back to school when their kids are little, and work jobs at the same time! Why can't I be awesome like that? I'm always looking for the easy way. Maybe if I want to do this properly, to live this life as fully as I should, I shouldn't look for the easy way. Maybe the easy way will lead to regrets. Maybe the easy way will lead to a life of mediocrity distinguished only by the nagging sense that I could have done better.

Or maybe I will make myself and my family miserable by spending too much time and money on a degree that won't actually fix my life. Maybe I should just get some tech job that I hate and spend the money renovating the house. Or try and get a good job without getting a bunch more education.

So whatever. Do I even want to be a librarian? I have no idea. I really want to do something useful and meaningful, which sounds so idiotically idealistic and adolescent, but I'm not speaking as an adolescent, I'm speaking as a mature adult who sees what is going on in the world and who can't tolerate the idea of being away from hearth and family simply to earn money and further the ends of some CEO. If I'm going to work, I want the work to be worth doing.

Anyway, the time has come when I have to make a decision. Cordelia is going to start kindergarten this year, and in 2011 she'll be in grade one. I need to start thinking about what I'm going to do so I can take some evening courses, or think about how to make money in the meantime. Can I even justify any further education when we're so in debt? Or does it make more sense to get me all educated up so I can earn more sooner?

I just don't know. I'm a muddled, confused mess and all these questions are ricocheting around my head all the time making me frustrated and exhausted. I hate not having a direction, and I have never been as directionless as I am now. The only thing I'm sure of is that I need to think about what I like to do and what I'm good at, and make an appointment with a career counsellor to figure out what the hell I am going to do when I grow up. Because I'm really ready to grow up now.