What to do

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“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

-Confucius

I hate sayings like that. “Go forth! Find yourself and what you’re meant to do.” Sage advice but said only by those who don’t have to work. Philosophers, motivational con men, lionized CEOs—it’s all so easy for them to look down from on high and tell us to go after your dream. Why not? It worked for them right?

It’s not practical and it’s not feasible for all of us to pursue what we want. Otherwise we’d have a globe chock full of princesses, models and baseball players. There would be no janitors, sewer workers and data processors. Philosophy is fine and good until you have to pay the bills. Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, they traipsed around The Academy all day while slaves did the work in their society.

In a modern society, shouldn’t we be spend more time pursuing a position we’re suited for rather than a lofty profession that’s unattainable and well beyond our talents?

I had an English teacher in high school once tell me that I would become an investigative reporter. I thought she was a loon.

But through high school and college I learned that I was a decent writer. I made As on research papers with little effort. My love in college though, was philosophy. It was so natural to me and it fit my head-in-the-clouds personality. Regardless, I was smart enough to know that I couldn’t make a living on philosophy.

So I opted for journalism. After graduating I became a newspaper reporter. Some time after that, I started winning awards. Among them was investigative journalism.

It was only then that teacher’s words came back. She knew.

I quit though because, like philosophy, journalism wasn’t quite profitable. As I said a million times, I loved journalism but it didn’t love me back.

Now I’m a communications coordinator at a college. It pays for my child’s welfare and half of my house’s mortgage. No it’s not what I wanted nor is it even my second choice. But it does use the skills that my freshman English teacher saw in me when I didn’t see it in myself.

Maybe someday I’ll get to walk around in a toga, wear sandals and ponder the nature of the soul, epistemology and Wittgenstien’s Tractatus Logico.

Am I doing now what I’m supposed to do? I don’t know. But I won’t stop asking myself that question.

There’s always Neitzche and the Ubermensch.

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