December 8, 2009
I think it's time that we sat down and had a little talk, mano a mano. You know.
There comes a time in every man's life when he must stop (or at least take a break from) stroking the massive pile of earrings he bought at the store the other day and consider important things, and one of those many important things is his future. Life is lubricious, and our moments on this earth are fleeting, so it is imperative that one ponders the many paths he may take. We'd all like to sit in our rooms and watch seasons (yes, that is plural) of 30 Rock for a living, but unfortunately that's just not going to pan out for most people.
So, son, being a college student I have been seriously excogitating my future during my break in between fangirling the Oxford English Dictionary (which I just discovered can in fact be accessed off campus). And I have come to several conclusions.
One is that my grandfather's futile dream to have one of his relatives go into law is not going to be fulfilled through me. My grandfather spent his professional life doing tax law -- God knows how he got through so many years of that -- and it is his sole wish in life that one of his five children would either follow in his footsteps or produce some kind of spawn that would. However, my two younger siblings and I are the only individuals among seven cousins that have not yet chosen careers. My sister wants to be sciencey or artsy and I think that right now my brother wants to play Call of Duty for a living, so that's rather unfortunate for him. I have also decided that next time dear old Pop bothers me about what I want to do with my life, I'm going to tell him that I want to be a poet just to scare him into submission.
Another of my conclusions is that I have two kinds of aspirations in life -- serious and completely ridiculous. My serious career plans all seem to have to do with discussing literature or writing and getting paid for it, ranging from high school English teacher or a professor or a TV writer or a publishing person or editor. I've also recently decided that it would be absolutely beautiful to be a used book store owner -- it's all the awesome of being a librarian without being required to know anything about cataloguing systems. Everyone loves a disorganized used book store.
As much as I'd like to leave it as a nice pithy aphorism, the comment about being a poet is not entirely unfounded, either. The job market for academics is apparently a dog eat dog world, and therefore it's quite useful to be high up in one's field. It does not seem unlikely for me to go on to get my MFA in poetry and then teach that at some college. So being a poet could actually be a legitimate career choice, and yet it is so, so fun to see the look of terror on people's faces when I declare my intention to write poetry to feed myself. "Does she actually think she can make money off of that? Someone needs to hit this girl in the head with a speeding speedboat with wings made out of a huge reality check, quick!"
Furthermore, if the OED ever offered me a job I would be literally incapable of saying no. "Oh, hello, it's nice to meet you. My name is Clare. What do I do for a living? Oh, I'm just a lexicographer." That sounds even better than the time I wanted to become a cosmologist just so I could be an expert in complex sciency stuff and still have lots of people thinking that I did hair for a living.
Annd that last sentence is all you're going to get in the way of a segue into the next topic, which is RIDICULOUS AMBITIONS. I have a habit of declaring my intention to follow a career path which a) I am really not good at or wildly underqualified for or b) I would find myself outrageously unhappy in, and all for completely arbritrary reasons. Cosmologist looked pretty attractive not only because of the obvious benefit above, but also because it kind of seems like no one could actually tell you that you were wrong because no one really knows for sure.
One of my favorite strange career paths is still a truck driver, which was what I claimed my fallback job would be if I were unable to get into a college (come on, everyone has that nightmare several billion times when applying to college). The main reason for this was that I found out they have little beds in the back of the cab so they can sleep while they're a-travellin. How cool is that?
More recently, I considered becoming a demolitions expert. I mean, who WOULDN'T want to blow shit up and get money for it. However, I realized that this probably takes many years of training and learning about things like engineering and physics and things that I do not like as much as the idea of blowing shit up. So that's a no.
Today, while I was watching 3o Rock I noticed that Tracy Jordan got subpoenaed, and that there was a guy who seemed to be getting paid to track him down and serve the subpoena. Now THAT's a job. I have since been informed that this profession is the basis of the plot of the Pineapple Express, but still. All I have to do is avoid buying pot from sketchy Asians and I'm golden? Furthermore, the verb "to subpoena" reminds me of the verb "to pwn," and we can all see the wide ranging, longlasting benefits of that comparison.
So YouTube and other endeavors has brought this thing called FORMSPRING to my attention, and damn it's intriguing! People ask you questions and you can answer them! The problem is that none of my IRL friends are remotely interested in the internet and I doubt that anyone wants to ask me questions. I made one anyone and if you want to ask me anything I will be excited. So yeah?
See you cats later. I gotta go have interesting whirlwind global adventures and skydive and drive invisible planes and stuff.