I recently met Kim from Perfectly Cursed Life for dinner. Among the many topics we discussed, one was my lack of a satisfying career. More importantly, my severe lack of even knowing what direction I want my career to take. As I mentioned to Kim, I don’t have any special talents. I don’t have any particular gifts as far as intelligence (I mean, I think I’m relatively intelligent, I’m just not a genius at anything), nor do I have any outstanding athletic or artistic talents. The worst part of it all – I also do not have any driving ambition to do one particular thing. In my educational career, I coasted through high school and college, earning As and Bs in most everything, and not really having to try hard to get those grades. My undergraduate studies were in English and Film History and I got mostly high B’s (some As), and graduated Cum Laude from college. I never really had to study hard, because English and Film History courses are all about writing papers and researching. It’s not like I needed to memorize equations or know the periodic table. Law school was an entirely different animal, and coming into it with no real study skills was difficult for me. I struggled for the first two years, and tried to study and tried to understand. My last year in law school was pretty breezy, and I actually earned a few decent grades. However, my poor study skills (or lack thereof) are apparent, considering I’ve had to take the Bar exam FOUR times. Hopefully, this last time stuck, but what if it didn’t?
Which brings me back to my original issue – what am I supposed to be doing with my life? Even if I do pass the bar exam, do I really want to practice law? In all honesty, I don’t think I do. At least not in the traditional sense. I know Husband will be disappointed, because he seems to have this idea that once I pass the Bar I am going to have this glorious legal career. I have not wanted to burst his bubble too soon by telling him that is not my intention, but I know the conversation is going to come eventually.
So here I am – back at square one, trying to figure things out. I feel like I am too old to be having these issues. I remember when I turned 30, one of my earth-shattering, personal crisis moments was when I realized I was not in a satisfying career. Yet. And don’t we all think that by the time we are 30, we will be in a career we love? Am I really going to face turning 40 (shrivel inside) in the same place as I was at 30? The sad part for me is that I don’t even know where to begin to figure out what I really, really, REALLY want to do. I feel like Lloyd Dobbler (played by John Cusack) in Say Anything (one of my all-time favorite movies):
“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.”
If money was no object, I would try and live out the lottery-winning fantasy I recently came up with: there are two things I’d do. I would open a giant no-kill shelter for animals with no homes, and I would also open a metaphysical store with all the goodies that come with that. Very different interests, and currently, no hopes of either coming true.
Some of my other interests lie in advocating for equal rights, particularly for the gay community, abortion rights, and fighting to end child sexual abuse. But I don’t do anything with any of these issues—I’m not volunteering my time, I’m not writing about it, I’m not doing much of anything, except having an opinion. I don’t even know where to begin.
I do know one thing though – after a Bachelor’s degree, a nearly finished Master’s degree, and a Juris Doctor…AND over $100,000 in student loan debt, I KNOW I’m not going back to school. Oh HELLLLLLS NO. Which would be my usual modus operandi to solve this issue – and at least I would feel like I was moving toward a goal, instead of treading the muddy waters I’m stuck in right now.
Christ, I feel like a massive failure, and a completely unfulfilled human being.