Thursday, September 10, 2009

FML (Fuck My Life)

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.


perfectlycursedlife said...

Repeat after me: You're NOT a massive failure.

perfectlycursedlife said...

I meant...
Repeat after me: I'M not a massive failure.

Apparently, I am a failure at writing this simple comment though.

mysaucerfulofsecrets said...

Keep your head up. You'll figure it all out eventually. :)

Tennyson ee Hemingway said...

At least you've got something. I'm 43, with no career at all, no prospects of a career, no degrees, diplomas, qualifications of any sort and we're trying to get pregnant. How the hell can I support a baby on the same wage an eighteen year old makes? Talk about your wasted life. I realise this doesn't help you though.

mysterg said...

Could you not do some pro bono work with your law qualifications in the areas you are interested in?

You are not defined by your career, you are defined by who you are as a person. And you are fantastic.

Work is a means to an end and whilst most of us want to do something we enjoy, if you have a great quality of life outside of a career it becomes less important.

MyTruth0812 said...

Kim: Thank you but sometimes it feels that way. Time will tell!

Kylie: Thanks sweetie. Some days are just harder than others and trying to figure shit out makes my brain hurt. :)

Tennyson: Thank you for making me feel like I'm not alone. It was actually your post about being a musician that got me thinking about this, so maybe I should be cursing you instead?

mysterg: Thank you and I think I love you. :) Actually, you gave me so really good advice and certainly something to think about. I never thought about pro bono work (which will have to wait until after I pass the Bar exam) but a very good idea. Good advice while using the word "whilst". Well done.

mytruth1118 said...

I feel the same way, I just got a permanent teaching (which I have been wanting for 3 years) and I don't think I like sad is that? I already can't wait for the school year to end.