Sunday, March 4, 2012


Goals, passions, life plans...

I have goals.  I have things I care about.  And I definately have a path that I want my life to follow.
What I don't have is an overwhelming career-driven ambition.  I don't have the same kind of passion that so many of my friends do-- from a girl who wants to go into animal rights law, to a girl who is studying how to prevent and cure cancer.

I have things that interest me!  I'm not a boring person, devoid of any career goals-- right now I'm thinking I'll focus on either copyright, which is intellectually very interesting to me, or reproductive rights, which are probably the closest I come to having a career oriented passion.

But, if I can't do either of those options, I'll be fine doing something else.  My personal life, my ideas of a future family life, are more important to me than specific career ideas-- though I do want a good career!

Sometimes, I feel as if this is a moral failing.

I feel like I should be devoted to some career path, I should be more ambitious.  I used to have ambition.  I used to practically define myself by my ambition-- and my achievements.  But then my achievements kept not living up to my ambition, and so I scrapped ambition to some degree-- or at least, the type of ambition I used to have.  I wonder if this is just a natural result of getting older and more complex, or if its a result of not being quite as smart as I thought I was when I was younger.  I wonder if the lack of ambition is linked to my changing mental state.  I wonder.

Ambition is valued so much in America-- the whole American dream seems to be upward mobility, but damn it, even just going to law school is practically doing that for me.  Is my problem then just that I don't value what society does?  And given how utterly messed up society is-- is that maybe a good thing?

I don't know.  I've accepted that this is who I am-- a girl whose ambitions are mainly not in the career mold, and whose career ambitions equate to reasonable pay, reasonable hours, reasonably intellectually interesting, rather than specifically anything.  And I'm fine with that.
But it would be nice to have a little more passion, and direction, when it comes time to look for my post-law-school-job.


Kelsea said...

I feel exactly the same. I have always been incredibly envious of people who know exactly what they want to do with their lives.
At the same time, though, I have to remember that some of those people who have a single all consuming plan are going to wake up one day and have to start all over once they realize that they aren't the same person they were five, ten, twenty years ago and they're unhappy. I think you've got the right idea: follow your passions to the extent that it feels right, find a life that makes you comfortable and happy. I'm hopeful that both of us will know what we're meant to do when we see it.
Also, I am terrible about these things and always miss what's right in front of my face, but what is your Jezebel name? I can't figure it out.

Kelsium said...

Er, that was Kelsium, in case you hadn't guessed. Apparently I was automatically logged into an account from years ago that I never used. Weird.

Amanda said...

My Jezebel name that I post with is inabook, but my profile page is under perkyanda. I wanted to make it so that anyone casually on Jez wouldn't immediately know it was me.

And I do think that we'll end up happy. Unknown journeys can be fun :-)

Kelsium said...

Oh yay! Well I'm glad to see you! I was glad to see you as someone I knew to be a Jez commenter before, and now I am glad to see you because you are you!
And, I think you should know that the letters that the "make sure you are human" thing wants me to type are "testles", which makes me giggle.

Amanda said...

I used to feel the same way (and sometimes still do), but I found that single-minded passion isn't for everyone, and I would never have found myself where I am if I had followed any of the things I thought I was passionate (or thought I should have been passionate) about.

I'm sure this would have sounded much better before the two glasses of cheap wine . . .

Leigh said...

I can vouch, from the other side, that being single-minded has really thrown a monkey wrench into my life once I realized that it would involve another person as well. I've wanted to do science since I was seven. Although my focus and branch has changed, I'm still living my dream. And suddenly, there's this guy, and I'm in love, and he's saying all these things like marriage and kids and--like this weekend, we're going away with his family. I wanted to work this weekend, at least Monday.

Compromise is hard. Figuring out who you are again after your plans change is hard. Forgiving yourself for not being as hardcore as you wanted to be is hard.