MSEJ November 2018 - Page 11

As it turns out, there’s no easy career track for history majors. Unlike a professional-track degree, like pre-law or pre-med, there isn’t a logical next step or a neon sign saying “this is the job for you!” There are extra requirements to become a teacher, and if you want to work in museums you need a more advanced degree to be competitive. I started to look at other job markets, but found my natural shyness held me back. I was scared to approach people and businesses to ask about jobs, much less for a job.

I needed courage, and I needed it badly.

I am thankful to this day for my mother and the memory of my brothers and sisters in arms. One form of courage doesn’t outshine the other. Both gave me the courage I needed not only to talk to people, but to go out and make my job search my own.

I wish I could go back in time and talk to that person who told me that courage could only show up in combat. I’d tell him that courage can be found anytime, anywhere, anyplace, and by anyone.

All you need to do is look for it. He might not have believed me, but then again, I hope he has seen little sparks of courage over the past fifteen years that have changed his mind.

My experiences and life lessons have definitely changed mine.

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For me, my courage didn’t come in a flash and it didn’t deliver me the job I anticipated. I didn’t become bold overnight, walk into a business, and end up with an enviable position teaching history for a ton of cash (I don’t think teaching history ever comes with a ton of cash).

Instead, I my courage came in the form of asking for help. I saw an advertisement for CASY & MSCCN, I saw a flyer with information about learning to be a writer. In asking for help, I found my courage and a new path to follow.

Adam Cole is a Marine Corps Veteran of 18 years. He holds a BA in History from UNC Wilmington. He aspires to become a novelist and was a member of the 2018 CASY Writing Internship. All images for this article were generously supplied by Adam Cole.

Sons can teach their fathers a lot about courage.