it's funny how every place you've been, even when you seem to hit dead ends or wonder "what on earth did i ever do that for?" you realize there's a reason for it. like my year when i thought i would be doing graphic design but then realized that i wasn't really cut out for it, and changed to a major in english lit instead.
when i moved home and finding a full-time job seemed improbable, i was kicking myself for doing this whole majoring in liberal arts thing because even with a psychology degree you could find more employment and i was stuck in sticksville working part-time at a place that made me feel like dirt every time i went in. i can look back now and laugh at how dismal it was, but that's because i'm not there anymore.
so i felt like my degree was useless because i'm not doing research for cancer (even though i'm awful at science or helping the poor or something.
but the past couple days have reaffirmed why i did this in the first place. one of the things that i really enjoyed doing when i was in school was editing and proofreading papers for my friends and coworkers. mostly this involved minor tweaking and a little editing, but it always made me feel good when people would come back to me and say "i was failing this class and i finished it now with a B-," or "i got a 100% on this paper."
now i don't do this quite as frequently. i'll look over my sisters' work, or sometimes people will come up to the desk and ask me how certain things are spelled. sometimes the papers i see are so incoherent and badly written that i can only refer them to someone who's better at this, and then i'm told i don't care or that i screwed it up. when you consider the source this is coming from, you really can't take it personally, but it's frustrating nonetheless.
and then... there are those other times when you just happen to be at the right place at the right time with a skill you didn't even think was all that useful and suddenly it means something and you can use it to help someone else grow...