Friday, February 29, 2008

My Umbrella is a Rainbow

Sometimes I wonder why I couldn't have been blessed with the Gift of Knowing What I Want to Do When I Grow Up.

It seems my job aspirations turn and twist like a weathervane in a tornado, and so many times I end up thinking, "How did I end up here" and "Where am I going?"

With my contract coming to a close in the next 3-6 months, I am once again wondering what path to follow ... What do I want to do when I grow up?

I've toyed with going back to school (VUBOQ, Ph.D. is in da house!), but my quandries over what to study (Shouldn't one be passionate about the subject?) coupled with reading bolgs about the dog-eat-dog World of Academia aren't helping to motivate me in that direction.

Research?
Writing?
Environment?
Curriculum Development?
Federal Government?
Private Sector?
Non-profit?

Right now, I feel like chucking it all, moving somewhere dirt cheap, working part-time in a bookstore, and spending the rest of my time writing, knitting, and making fun pottery.

Somehow, I don't think that will work ...

14 comments:

  1. Right now, I feel like chucking it all, moving somewhere dirt cheap, working part-time in a bookstore, and spending the rest of my time writing, knitting, and making fun pottery.

    Somehow, I don't think that will work ...


    Why won't it work? Those are all very different things you've listed (academia, same old job, knitting), but I don't think any one of them is more "successful" than the other.

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  2. Oh, but if it did, I would move in next door.

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  3. Yah, why won't it work? What do you mean by "won't work"? You won't survive? You won't be happy? People will look at you funny?

    It's not a blessing, by the way. Because even if you know what you have to do, you still wonder if you're doing it right, if you're not getting there fast enough, if this is all really part of a Greater Plan or if you're a deluded nutbar, etc., etc. So in the end it's a tradeoff at best.

    Have I recommended Po Bronson's "What Should I Do with My Life?" to you yet? It's actually not a self-help book, not in the conventional sense anyhow.

    Aside from that, my best advice is to spend some time contemplating death. At the end of your life, what do you want to say you've done with yourself? What do you want to be remembered for, if you want to be remembered at all? What is still going to be important to you then, and what can you live without? Yeah, this is morbid and maybe even scary at first, but it's sort of the essence of a lot of life advice I've gotten from people over the years.

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  4. VUBOQ darling, you've read my mind. You sell the books, and I'll make the cappuccinos. Once I figure out how my investments can actually make me money, of course ;)

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  5. having a phd doesn't mean that you have to work in academia. you can work lots of places with a phd. and you could do pottery, knit and write poetry *and* have you phd.

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  6. It sounds like bliss to me.

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  7. I have been pondering some of the same things recently. And I continue to wonder what to do when I grow up. I'm brewing a post on this topic, I think. It's still in my head and might get lost in there.

    Today I decided I want to learn how to sail, and spend the next few years sailing around the oceans and great lakes of the world. I'll make a living by writing about my travels and adventures, selling the stories to magazines or writing a book. It'll be a million dolla' seller 4shur. And I can knit and/or read while I'm in the doldrums.

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  8. The problem with moving somewhere dirt cheap is that it will be cheap for a reason: Nobody wants to live there. Plus, as a gay, it will be hard to find other gays (Trust me).

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  9. Bossy agrees with earlier wisdom - who says it can't work? Don't you watch Oprah, girl?

    P.S. check your email, because Bossy's Excellent Road Trip is stopping in D.C. - Tuesday March 25th. Mark your calendar and ready the vat of booze.

    Bossy will take her vodka infused with Vicodin.

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  10. Bossy, what a brilliant idea!

    You know, there is always the "living history" field. You could knit while role playing at an outdoor museum, and would need that extra job in a bookstore to make ends meet and get you through the off-season. Although, as Gayprof notes, there would be a serious lack of gay companionship in the vicinity.

    (Hey! I have that umbrella. I'm not kidding. I got it at WalMart.)

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  11. Good ideas, all of these. But, my idea? Find a job that makes tons of bucks and I shall be your boozy boy toy. Just don't tell the Justin.

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  12. As I'm sure you've noticed from all these comments, you're not unique in the career stakes. I've still got no idea what to do when I grow up so for now I just do whatever people are willing to pay me to do.

    When they've paid me enough I can make a decision as to what I want to do with life. After all, work is what you spend most of your waking hours doing, so it needs to be something you view as living your life, not work.

    How very profound for me. I can't have had enough vino. Fuck.

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  13. this seems to be a recurring topic.. why not go to few therapy sessions just to discuss this. a friend of mine went to discuss one issue, and it seemed to work. you know, as long as your insurance would pay for it.

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  14. Work? Sucks. I don't know anyone who truly, deeply, without-reservation LOVES their work. Do you? No. Because no one does. The very concept is flawed: Hey! Let's work a full THIRD OF OUR LIVES and pretend to be happy the other two thirds!

    Gah.

    Move somewhere cheap. Work in a bookstore. *smooch*

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