When I taught Catholic high school, I once heard a speaker say that persons who write down their life goals are exponentially more likely to succeed than persons who do not, and earn x times more money. I likely had heard this before, but this time it stuck with me.
Well, I'm no longer teaching Catholic high school, and my life situation has changed considerably. For a while, I considered the priesthood, but in discerning I have discovered a few things: 1) I only would become a priest if I were already married (which I am not, and do not foresee in the near future), 2) I habitually have too many skeptical and questioning thoughts about Christianity and religion in general, 3) I have had problems with depression, and this would hamper me in the various pastoral demands.
So, with the priesthood scratched out for me, I have been focusing on what I long have felt drawn toward: college teaching. I already have a BA in English and an MA in Theology. My thought at the time of teaching high school was to use the experience as a stepping stone to applying to a PhD program in historical theology and then applying toward a teaching position at a college.
Unfortunately, the high school job was a disaster (kids were crazily stressful) and the school wanted its teachers to work toward an MA in Education (for which I could care less). Since the time I left high school teaching, I have been working for a financial institution. I'm not happy in it (it's a low position that doesn't make use of my skills), and I'm now working toward an accounting degree, which I hope will make me more marketable. Accounting seems it would put me in a better position that is more mentally challenging, but it does not fit into my life passions. So, I came up with a tentative plan, a list of goals to accomplish. Since I'm in the early stage of planning, I was hoping others could offer feedback.
5-10 Year Plan:
1) Complete degree in accounting. I have the monetary funds, intelligence and work ethic to complete with a satisfactory grade level.
2) Find an accounting-related job that pays decent (a "living wage" at least) and yet offers some flexibility of hours. Maintain a strict personal budget and allocate money toward a school tuition savings account.
3) Apply to a PhD program, either Historical Theology or Patristics, at a Jesuit university. Apply for part-time rather than full-time status, so I can take classes over a longer period of time, and so manage work and school effectively.
4) Use accumulated funds to pay each course. Work on and complete thesis.
5) Apply toward adjunct position at a university or college, and teach part-time on the side, in addition to my accounting profession.
6) Have job and financial security (more or less) with accounting profession, and fulfill my passion of earning a PhD and being immersed in the academic environment.
Your thoughts are much appreciated!