Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

"Being" something is so much easier at 2.
Remember back when you were a kid and you thought you could be whatever you wanted? Sure, you had no aptitude for science, engineering, math...but you were going to be an astronaut. And for a while there the call of ballerina was strong. But seeing the of hours upon hours of nothing but training and not eating required made you rethink that real quick. Of course, by the time you were in high school, you wanted to be something else anyway. Your moods for careers changed the same way little kids want to be four different things for Halloween in the course of about four hours (how does one dress up as a monster/fire engine/astronaut/pumpkin/superman?).

And then you get to college. And you start to hone your choices based on, one hopes, the skills you have displayed and what you like to do. Through the course of your education, you have found you have a way with words, or at the very least, an ability to put them down on paper in a semblance of something close to a sentence. And you don't let the fact that you can't seem to spell your way out of a paper bag stop you. And your spotty grammar education just means that once you do decide to be a writer, well, you'll finally learn how to use a comma and write in active voice.

Fine, so now, through trial and error (acting), you have a settled upon career path. You may not have a five year plan, but you know the general direction you're headed in.

And so you go out into the great big world with the skills you've learned over the past 23 years and you get a job. And you learn more skills. And you get a new job. And then you get laid off. But then you find a different job. And then you earn an advanced degree to advance your career. Then you get new a new job. And then you've stumbled  into a career which isn't really the direction you wanted to go in college, but it's not too bad and it pays the bills and then some. But then you hate your job because your boss micromanages without telling you what he really expects, so you get another job. And you like this job because your team is great, and you have fun, and you like what you do. But then someone moves your cheese and now this job is just another job. And you're beginning to think that maybe you don't have a career, you just have a job. That really you're just another cog in the machine. And the best you can do, and the most you want to do, is to do your little thing, nothing less, and certainly nothing more. And maybe that's OK. Because at the end of the day, the things that make life worth it aren't always what you do from 9 - 5 (8:30 - 4:45), it's the stuff you do on the weekends and after work and with friends.

Of course, you'd love to be one of those people who "love" what they do. But I think it's a little too late to become a ballerina now.

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