Monday, November 19, 2007

My Edumacation: Part II

I was reading the comments to my last post (My Edumacation), and was going to respond when something funny happened. I got distracted with using my random knowledge for something that mattered. And I enjoyed it thoroughly. However, I still want to respond to the comments since reading them helped me figure out why I was so frustrated:

Deep down, I know I have all of the formal education I need. Unless I one day decide to go to law school, which at this point I'm too tired to do, I think I have enough degrees. The problem isn't lack of knowledge, as much as it is lack of opportunity to apply this knowledge to something that has meaning. Or even applying it something that doesn't have meaning. I am bored out of my mind and not using my brain. While every job has a level of frustratingly mundane something or other, that is all my job has become--frustratingly mundane. I don't learn anything, I don't grow, I don't contribute anything of significance and I don't have the opportunity to shine. If there is anything I need, it is a place to shine. Deprive me of that and I will in turn be frustrated, pissed off and depressed about my very existence. At this point, I feel I have forgotten how to contribute anything of meaning even if the opportunity came along. That scares the crap out of me.

I don't know what I want to do with my life. I dream about writing a book, but don't feel I have anything significant to say. And even when I find something to say, I can't express it as I want. And I still need to support myself on daily basis (tragically, bills don't pay themselves). So what will my day job be? What will I do with myself now that I am all grown up, and aging quickly? I can't very well copy, paste and organize-lunch my way to retirement. I could, if I weren't so determined to do something Significant.

Which brings me to the topic of regrets. I don't regret passing on Pharmacy school. I put a lot of thought into rejecting that road. I may wish for the financial security it would bring, but I would be just as unhappy with the actual work. So, it's not a regret of not acting, it's the fear of not doing something meaningful. Egotistical little nut that I am, I want make a difference and matter in something of my own making.

So if you have any ideas what a person with my background can do to make a splash, let me know. Otherwise, I'll be the one banging my head on the keyboard hoping for greatness:


Alex the Odd said...

I think you might actually be, well, me. I have a biochemistry degree that while I'm very glad I took and I thoroughly enjoyed I don't really feel like I can do anything with. I've been accepted to law school, and offered PhDs but I've turned them all down.

My Mother doesn't help matters as whenever I discuss a future career path half of the time she waves her hand and says "Yes but you're going to end up a novelist so none of this really matters" - the other half she's more useful.

I have the itch for meaning too so I finally decided to take the pay cut, get myself heavily into debt with some post graduate training and go into science journalism. That way I get to write, pay the bills (eating is another matter though) and I do kind of feel like by educating people I'm doing something at least semi-worthwhile.

That was my bolt of inspiration at any rate. Hope you find yours soon.

Night Owl said...

I don’t believe that there is any need to go banging your head into the keyboard. I think you’re past the point of being frustrated, with your life now. I know what you mean though, wanting to do something significant and challenging. I think you should figure out your standards of significance. Do you want to change the world? Or would you be satisfied/happy with only some people knowing your level of significance?

In response to writing a book: Just sit and write. Start playing some music and just write. It doesn’t matter about what. Write about everything, how you feel now, how you felt then. It won’t matter if your thoughts come out jumbled, although judging from how you write now you’re pretty organized. I’m pretty sure that if you do that then you’ll have more than a blog…maybe a book, and if not a book maybe a story. But it’s a beginning. That’s what I do.

Good luck!!!