Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The stars are so lovely, but beware of their brutality

We all have work to do. I must write, because well, I'm Rand the great and Glorious, but that doesn't pay the bills (although me just being Rand should get me some payment), so I need a day job, and that's the tricky part. I've had a hard time figuring out a career. I know I want to be a writer, but I need a day job. But I wonder sometimes whether I'm going to even get to be a writer, whether I'll ever be published, or whether I even have any talent. I can never really convince myself of the last one, even when I'm ready to kill myself I still want to have my writings published. But the thing about college is it seems almost designed to demolish all your old dreams. A guy in high school who was at the top of his game is suddenly thrown into a big school where he's only in the middle. You're forced into classes where you struggle, which might be something you've never had to deal with before. You no longer have the support of teachers who can give you close attention, if you're lucky you'll have some nice professors, but even then they'll never give you the same amount. Most of all, you're forced to consider your career and you're told to be realistic.
In high school, you're told you can be anyone you want to be. Yet I knew even then I'd probably need a day job, I hoped (and still hope, although I'm reluctant to send out my stuff for publishing, even if at my heart I believe in myself, I'm still afraid of rejection) to get published soon, but I still thought I would need a day job, because I knew that few people can live off their writing. But I thought I could pick whatever day-job I wanted. College tends to tell you different. You worry have you picked the right major for a job, can you really succeed in this subject or that once you get to the advanced classes. I'm thinking about double majoring in math, but I don't know if I can really deal with the hard math, same with computer science. It's not like high school where this stuff was not only easier, but presented in a friendly manner, the professors aren't cold or anything, it just seems that the classes are taught more distantly (as well as worse, I think the average college professor teaches far worse than the average high school teacher, after all, the college professors haven't been trained to teach, I think that's probably a mistake of the system, either the professors should be forced to get additional teaching training or they should hire lecturers with teaching training). And I need to look at the job market, if I choose pursue job A will I actually be able to get a job or will I end up sponging off of my parents for another several years.
This has really has sort of hammered this home for me. I've been thinking about becoming a journalist (as I've mentioned in a previous session if any of you bums remembered) and people have been saying I shouldn't because the job market's so weak. It doesn't matter how good I might be there's still too much of a risk, they says. It doesn't matter that I want to be this, I probably shouldn't. I can be anything I want to be but I have to be realistic, I think this might be an exact quote. That is a contradiction in my mind, and I think it is one literally. If I can be anything I want to be can't I aim for the stars, and this isn't even the stars, can't I aim for the the high hills.
Of course, I don't have to accept this. I can defy the wishes of others and still pursue a job even if the market is tight. If it really was the case that I could not find a job for several years I might say yes, I need to be more realistic. But I think with journalism I can find a job, it might be low-paying, but it will be a job, and I can live with that. I can live with low pay, I can live with weak job security, I can live with being competitive, I can live with struggling. Maybe in that's it, you can be anything you want to be but you might have to struggle. Well, maybe not, sometimes you don't get with you want, I might not be published even if I try (but I'm not trying now which is the real problem, and which I must change), someone who wants to be an Olympic gymnist might never get to the Olympics. Sometimes struggling isn't enough to achieve what you want. But it is enough to be proud of. Ultimately, what I want to be is a writer. Can I become one just because I struggle? I might become one, I might not, that's just the way things are, my struggling will improve the odds but they won't guarentee it. In fact, no job is guarenteed, but that said, for the hard but not upper elchelon jobs (upper elchelon jobs being like professional writer (and by writer I mean something like novelist, or tv writer, or movie writer, etc.) there you can be pretty sure that if you're willing to struggle enough you can get them. So if I'm willing to struggle enough I can probably be (although maybe not certainly, and I'll have to put a lot more effort pursuing this goal, effort not being one of my strong suits) a journalist.
But then you have to do the Calculus. Is the struggle worth it? Is the satisfaction-the struggle greater than say the satisfaction of a less satisfying job-the lesser struggle? That's why I'm still unsure. And I need to consider all my options, and that's annoying but that's just what I'll have to do. I can't really be complaining about having a lot of options, some people don't get those choices. Still it does give me some worry, and perhaps my greatest worry is that I'll make a mistake and I'll end up unsatisfied with my life. But honestly, people are able to change careers. On the other hand, a long period with an unsatisfy job could aggrevate my depression. But that's just a risk. Life's full of them, and I don't want to be afraid of taking risks in life. Maybe I shouldn't take foolish risks, though. So there's still variables to consider. Oh well, I'm a still a junior I have time. And if I give the whole matter some effort I should be fine, but of course effort is not my strong spot. Anyways, take it to your head, take it to your heart, and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!

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