For my last two years as a public-school teacher, my therapist kept suggesting that I was perhaps not suited to teaching children, that I was the kind of person who needed to see the outcome of my work. Teaching, apparently, does not result in visible outcomes, despite hard work and long days (contrary to popular belief).
I am no longer a public-school teacher, after four long and excruciating years of stress, depression, anxiety, medication, and therapy. At 35, I was asking the same questions I asked at 25: What will I be when I grow up? What do I want to do?
Now that I see what my therapist meant by my need for visible outcomes, many of my compulsions make sense. Here I mean to explore the idea that some people need visible outcomes to feel fulfilled.