I am envious of people who know precisely what they want to do with their lives; what drives them. What moves them forward. I don’t recall ever truly knowing what path to take, or feeling any sort of strong pull in a certain direction. My old “School Years” book (any of you out there have similar things? A couple of pages per year where your mother could write down your teacher’s name, who your friends were, your extracurricular activities, etc., etc.? I still have mine. But I digress.) illustrates a dazzling array of fascinating career choices that varied from year to year. Actress. Doctor. Lawyer. Writer (it is a pleasant surprise to see that one on the list, more than once!) Nothing was very consistent. As I got older, I briefly considered Law again, as well as medicine (pediatrics) and pharmacy.
Off the top of my head, I can’t even remember right now why I chose to study English Language and Literature. I remember feeling like it was the “good enough” choice. I don’t remember being excited about the prospect of studying books. My English marks in high school were reasonably good, but they were eclipsed by my music and drama grades.
Why didn’t I go into the arts, then? Damned if I know. I want to say that it was perhaps because one needed a “stable career”, something to keep you getting paid while you possibly dabbled in the arts on the side. But I don’t truly recall receiving that message from the Mater and Pater, so it might have been my own misgivings on the idea.
I took one music class in University as an elective, but we weren’t permitted to take performance classes if you weren’t a music major. So I ended up in a theory class. I realize if I’d gone into music I would have had to do the theory anyway, but it was hard. Really, it would have been so much more satisfying to play, but that wasn’t an option.
I hope the various offspring are passionate and driven about their life goals. I want them to be happy and feel satisfied about what they accomplish and where they go. What’s life without that?
Meh. It would be nice to feel less adrift nowadays, but I also have the sneaking suspicion that the big 4-0 birthday that’s creeping up on me in 2012 is a large part of the cause. In some ways I wish I could skip this one and just go to 41. Maybe that would be easier.
Tell me: are you happy with where your life is right now?