Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Aimless. Passionless. Practically Dead.

Ever get the sinking feeling that you're in the wrong career and that the choices you've made all along have been more the result of randomness than the desire to follow your passions?

I have. Yesterday. More so today.

It all started with a simple conversation over dinner with Bellringer Moving to Scotland Mike. We were discussing the tragedy of the MacArthur Foundation, once again overlooking me for a "genius grant," which, if you don't know, is $25000 per quarter for five years with no restrictions on how to spend it.

Mike asked a simple question, "How would you spend it?"
And, I couldn't answer.

Would I write a novel? Probably not. I come up with really great starts to novels, but flounder after a chapter or two.

I started thinking about my passions in life: Things I love to do (or have loved doing), things I loved studying, etc.

So far, I've come up with:

Evolutionary Theory.

Global Environmental Policy didn't make the cut. I mean, I loved it when I was studying it, but actually working in the field? I'm kinda *meh* about that.

So, I'm stuck.

I'm feeling *meh* about continuing to work in my field, and I can't afford to go back to school to get a degree in the Evolutionary Theory of Bugs, Knitting, and Pottery either. Maybe I should try knitting bugs or something.

This week, not so good so far.


  1. Sometimes a change is as good as a rest, as they say.

  2. Not to exacerbate your disillusionment, but there was a great story on NPR Morning Edition today about Darwin and floating asparagus in a tub. Very interesting stuff. :-)

    Surely there are some kind of reputable 'carreer counselors' or something who you can go to to talk about your situation and who can suggest options. Not that I should talk since my 'carreer' seems to be all over the place.


    P.S.: Food.

  3. I recommend this book to everyone who is having a career crisis: "What Should I Do with My Life?" by Po Bronson. It has quieted a great deal of the angsting I once had over art vs. science vs. some combination of the two.



  5. master knitter. that's what you should aspire to. you've mastered beating. knitting is the next logical step.

  6. "the choices you've made all along have been more the result of randomness than the desire to follow your passions"

    I'm actually convinced that randomness is all that there is. Not in a nihlistic way, of course.

    So I guess taking reasonable risks to do things that you love for a career (knowing that you won't *always* be happy doing them) is not a bad idea. I know some people who changed their careers in some way or the other (school is not the only way) and they are happier persons for it.