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Today was a really good and interesting day. Had a career development workshop- which of course leads to thinking about THE GOAL. The job at the end of the tunnel (b school has been pretty good to me, I’m talking about the black hole that wasn’t so black and the potential looming abyss of unemployment). Got some new strategic insights, and a professional Twitter since the workshop lady tweeted about it and I tweeted back from my personal account- whoops- and then made a professional one so we could be friends. She is really cool and might be reading this now since I did have the bloggy blog linked to in my personal twitter profile.

Anyway, it was a positive experience and the whole getting followed by a mentor like person gives me some hope. I got the chance to bounce career ideas off of some awesomesauce people with loads more experience and that was helpful. Thinking about corporate public affairs now, and how I can do my fun passion work on the side, like having a wonky insightful blog that might also interpret American politics to international audiences. That one might need to have some structure, which, if you haven’t noticed, I’m not always a fan of. I like thinking about creating institutional structures that align interests for the common good, but I don’t necessarily like adhering to them.

I guess what it all comes down to is, just because I haven’t found my space yet, doesn’t mean that I won’t.

The choices are big and scary though because you really have to think about what you want to deal with on a day to day basis, for money, how mucj you will be compensated, and what impact it will have on your personal life. Aside from my great family and friends, who have proven their love any way and any where, I would kinda like to be able to date a bit. And, you know, get married and have kids. Someday. In a galaxy far far away. In the long distant, 10yearish future for the kiddles. As in, I think that no matter how much outside success I had, I would not really be fulfilled without it. So I scratched that because, you know, things out of our control like that shouldn’t necessarily be made the focus of our lives, and I’ve gotta be woman and hear me roar, and o you have to be true to yourself before finding someone who can love you for who you are and all that. Besides, if it didn’t happen, God knows it would be for a reason. I guess what I want to say is I want to know I’ve done things within personal limits to make it possible.

But seriously people NO ONE can have it all. Not at the same time. Even if you have disposable income to hire a nanny and you have a wonderful man who will follow you all over the world (I don’t necessarily want that camp follower btws, I’m looking for an equal here), there are still constraints in life. One of mine appears to be that it is difficult to simultaneously travel, date, and have a close group of friends physically close to you. While it could be lovely living the itinerant life, and it is lovely to have it now in my grad program, I do think that for me at least, having enriching relationships (note: not fused with a significant other or a particular crowd) is important, as might be proximity to my family. I definitely love living in Europe, although in some ways I’m not sure I’ve given the US enough of a chance, and I think in some ways everywhere is kinda the same, just depends on city or country. And I think the main things that matter are having cool close friends, a job you like, and hopefully a bad ass significant other. Once those things are in place, the nightlife and all that don’t matter as much, not that they are super important to me now. I can go out and go crazy especially in the right mood and group of people, but I do like me some thoughtful conversations, especially with close friends.

The dean of my school told me, “Stability is an illusion,” “Community is an illusion,” and “some people don’t feel the need to see themselves as people who would make sacrifices for love.” So that gave me a bit to think about. He’d been in Paris as an American for 20 years, and he said it just happened without him realizing it after the intention of spending a few years here. I’ve also met another administrator, from ireland, who had been a lot of places and just felt like Paris was it, she was always discovering something new and meaningful.

For me, I am thinking Washington after b school still for now, and the truth is I don’t and won’t really know until I know and have a job there. Although, I guess with proper self awareness I can narrow down my choices yet be open if an opportunity arises. No one can ever tell you what to do though. In a way, I am attracted to going down the corporate path or some road not travelled, just for the hell and the amazing pay of it, I think, but I also just want to get those 10k hours of expertise in. I do want to have a goal and not just do something random; I do want to do things that add meaning and value for me. And that’s the big thing of my personality, always looking for that deeper meaning, that this blog and my recent experiences have really helped me to accept. I think that’s been the main value-add of it, that I accept who I’ve discovered I am and now I’m looking for my place in the world. What am I saying, I already have a place in the world, right here right now, and I love my grad program to pieces. Sometimes I think I should have just gone for being a French teacher, but that would have been boring as hell and would have been selling out in a sense, without having tried something that I was really jazzed about first anyway.

It’s amazing how my thinking about career strategy has changed over the course of my education. I also feel like I am getting to this point in life where even though I will always be learning and growing and changing, I have a lot less plenipotent cells, my brain will slow down a bit, and I really kind of am who I am. There are ways of looking at the past and feeling like things like France were overdetermined by childhood fantasies and the like that I never really intended to follow up on but when shit hit the fan and I doidn’t get the job and alifestyle I envirisioned ish[not to imply I had any sort of real plan, except to try to find something like my internship that I liked in DC- it probably would have been good enough before the financial crisis, but the truth is, I lacked decisiveness. This is a good quality the MBA program helps develop 🙂 ] God bless the broken road indeed. Yeah, just writing junk like that makes me feel clever and cohesive instead of a random jumble of thoughts, influences, and interests needing to make a choice about which bubble I want to belong to instead of deciding which moulds to break in order to make my own. Which is certainly what I’m going to do. Long term plan would definitely involve some sort of entrepreneurship, I think. But immediately after b school, to have some experience in a more traditional workplace setting wouldn’t be bad if I was developing connections and figuring out and simultaneously launching my own venture.

Given all these interests, I guess it’s not such a big surprise there is no guru who can point me in the right direction. And there is no right direction or career path, all have advantages and disadvantages. O tradeoffs. As much as I love constant variety, even adapting quickly and never developing deep roots becomes tedious. Really. Meeting new people is like going to a networking event, or a bar- you never know what might happen or who you might meet, but they are kind of all the same after a while. It all depends on what you want from this stage of life, because you can’t really control any others. If I were willing to forego a relationship for a long time, or wasn’t attracted to the marriage and children thing, my path would look a lot different. In some ways, it would be easier because I could focus solely on my career and personal desires, which is kinda what I’ve been doing since not having a serious boyfriend. On the other hand, there are definitely things you miss, and there’s definitely something of tedium and routing in any relationship or sustained lifestyle. Until you learn to see the joy in the every day, and then you are set free from it. I guess that’s what I need to pray for, because in a way I fear the domestic and everyday and in a way, gaiing momentum in a certain directions. While I always know I can stop and start over again, I think I’ve been afraid of finding something I would be afraid to lose, and something is more than just a potential man. It is also just attachment in general. Yes, I do want to like an organization to want to work there for more than like, five minutes or thnine weeks or secen months, my longest gig not counting long running part time jobs. I do think that’s the value-add in a way of this program, though I hesitate to say it because I WILL NEVER EVER be one of those people who just sticks to thing s and doesn’t want to try something new and who is unwilling ot entertain other possiblities consistent with my values. And I have a pretty good idea of what they are- I do want a personal life, a family, to be an engaged part of my commuity, and to have meaningful, rewarding intellectually and otherwise, work. The intellectual compotentn is very immediately obvious, but I need to get my people in somewhere and I think I could do a lot of interestethings. And I hope I might be able to negotiate an adequate salary at t a think tank. Bu t the real money would be having my own consutling and speaking engagements and personal brand in that sense, I think. We’ll see what happens. The internet is also mostly our friend in this world. I don’t need to find somneone else to publish me, even if it won’t be out there in the way way. I want to write that E-book on things people shoudl know about American and things America should know about the world. It might not even need to be an e-book, it could just be a top-ten list. Yes, I am envisioning this blog better and better.  I could just write and write and have to go back and edit and publish at a later time. In fact, that would make a ton ola of sense. I have a much better sense of my personal voice, and I could just let the blog be a blank canvas like this and showcase all my interesting achievements. Yes, I think this is a doable goal, an d the idea of doing it does stress me out a lot less than working on the resume, but I think it would probably be done before the resume. I am getting excited about my career again and its feeling less like something I have to do, which is awesome. Life is interesting, isn’t it? I do think I can be my own think tank. Who knows what I will do for my day job, and maybe I won’t even need a day job. Maybe sometday will just take me on in a business, and I shouldn’t fear getting bored at a job because there is no perfect job and I will always  be greowing. But if I have to pick on one particular country and city, which will it be? Eternal novelty and weird insider/outsider relationship of France, or being a stranger in an unstrange land in America? but I don’t think that false dichtomy of that description of America is accurate at all . I might find even cooler people in America, possible. Who knows. paris is very qonderful, and is a heigh of intellectual activity and cerebral ness in the world I think. But there is also a lot of other stuff, and who knows! Truly! I am going to start this website though. I think it will taell me as much about myself as this lovely personal blog has. Pity, I will need to actually market that one a little, and create a different wordpress account so it doesn’t lead directly to this baby. Though I do look foward in a wa =y to having nno more needt to cnesor myself publicly because I’ll be so rich eand famous, but I don’t know if that day ever comes to anyone. Damn, I love Europe, I really do. I would be happy here. WOuld I be happy in the US? Sometimes it seems distasteful there. But there are a lot more American boys and Englnglish spekaing jobs to be head, but this gcould also be a false perception. And if I am going to be picky on location, I may bnot have as much control over job fucntion, which I think is most iportant to me anyway. Butetter to make my own mini think tank now. Gotta see what my Klout Score is too. Interestigpulling all the pieces of me together. Maybe make a professional facebook too. Who knows. But i have discovered myself a lot more from the things I have put out there. Ok I AM RAMBLING.

Good night, frends,

MJ

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