I was born in Inglewood raised until 5 in Van Nuys, grew up in the UK and went back to Cali to work as a Housekeeper and Chauffeur in Malibu for my Mom's old bosses from when she lived there previously. So I learnt to dive with Malibu Divers. My wife of the time was quite introverted and as you can imagine had a hard time dealing with the much more outgoing Californians. She was homesick to so we went back to the UK after 18 months. I got my Instructor ticket in the UK and then went back to CA and lived with a Diving Instructor buddy's friends in Agoura Hills whilst I did my Diving Instruction.
So, Sirah whereabouts in the bay are you living at the moment? I am living in Bournemouth on the South Coast of England, it's as close to the Californian weather and beach life as you can get in a more often than not chilly country like England! Though we still get cold Winters down here.
As to the Diving I don't teach any more I think I joined PADI to late, at a time when they were so productive they flooded the market with Instructors so there weren't any good ways of making a living a it unless you were already well established before that happened.
Funny, I don't no whether this is an Empath thing or whether it was Mom's move back to the UK but I never wanted to settle down in England yet have made a safe place for myself in my flat/apartment and have not wanted to risk moving again as the last few moves didn't pan out.
All through my life I have wondered what the ideal job is for me. Even when I studied Buddhist meditation and read about one of the steps "correct livelihood" that resonated not only as common sense regarding personal ethics but to me as an Empath though at the time I didn't know I was one. I want to go to Uni, people say I am intelligent enough and are surprised I haven't. It would open up doors to have a degree but I always got and arrogant and superior vibe from a lot of people in higher learning places, a big turn off for me. I struggle now at this tiny College just as the Security Guard. Some of it's not Empath vibe I seen it right out there in the open.
So what careers have you pursued and how did you fare? Your sharing would be much appreciated as having recently found out I am an Empath I am going through a big life restructuring one of the changes being my career. I am thinking of doing a degree in some form of Counselling.
I admit it frightens me at mid-life attempting something like this but I have to at least keep trying to consider it and keep it on the table. I think to myself what is the point to being an Empath and not helping people? Though I realize I have to form cut off points so as not to lose myself in the process. I am looking at a Msc at the Karuna Institute that blends East/West psychology into a non religious based therapy system. This I could feel right about, but like your concerns, I will still need to make a decent living at it and will have to deal with student loans and repayments. Urrrgh! What to do...? You have raised a very pertinent Empath question here.