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Just kind of realizing this as I have a little mini panic attack sort of.  My chest feels tight, I’ve been eating so much junk compared to normal, and I was just hanging out with some well-educated girls in a similar life situation that don’t have the most positive outlook, especially on men.  They are also looking for jobs and visas and going through the ups and downs of dealing with men.  Just a few hours and I appreciate them greatly but also feel a bit of self-doubt setting in, about the dude and about my life in general.

As much as I’ve recently waxed poetic about patience and silence and separation, yes, I do crave some reassurance from my lover and I feel sad and confused about leaving Paris and him behind.  Philadelphia is not too far away, and it’s really hard to look forward to it. I’ve been trying to chillax myself and spend me – time but everything comes down to not knowing what to do with my life.  I’ve realized that however awesome the dude is or isn’t (mostly is, I think, not that he conforms at all to the kind of person I thought I wanted, nor does living in Paris for that matter) that gaping void in me will always be there. In Paris, Philadelphia, Asia, doesn’t matter. No matter how many awesome friends, no matter how much novelty I might find.  No matter how much avoidance of routine is my own habitude, I need to find a way to fill this void with love and life. The emptiness demands an answer, demands something outside of myself. Yes, I love writing, I love thinking, I love having new ideas. I loved being a teacher, but for the boredom and the subject matter. I don’t know if I want a policy job.  I’m not sure if I want to work at a desk.  I do want to see what this wide world has to offer me beyond what I’ve already known.

I just need to find a way to sing my song to the world and feel like I am contributing my verse d’apres Walt Whitman quoted by Robin Williams in Dead Poet’s Society.  I feel like I really relate to teachers and sometimes coaches and I do want to be a positive role model and leader.  I really aspired to success and prestige and fame in the past, and though I still want to make a living commensurate with my high level of education (and student debt), my definition of making a difference has changed. At least my way of making a difference. Every now and then I have small moments where I feel like I’ve changed the world for the better, sometimes through this blog and other times through just normal every day interactions.  Helping the Albanian woman and her children find their way to New York on the subway, explaining America is about more than American Pie, seeing the interns I used to work with succeed, showing off the picture some of my substitute teaching students made me.   I really enjoy what I’m learning in business school and want to put it to use though, and I want to have a stable job that will enable me to have the modestly bourgeois lifestyle I aspire to. Yes, I know that’s a lot.  But I don’t think it’s less than I, or really anybody who tries very hard, deserves.  [Not everybody tries as hard, not everyone takes the same risks, and I think it’s okay that there are differences in outcomes, but I do believe in making opportunities more equal.]

I also realize that the best moments from all of my experiences, including teaching, have been fairly peripheral relative to what I was hired to do. I’ve always wanted to be valued for my ideas and be in a stimulating environment, but what has really made me proud is when I know what I did made a difference in an individual person’s life. yeah, I’ve written some briefs and attended some stuff that was global and political and “important” and now I’m getting my MBA which is all about “important” stuff (not necessarily as dry as you might imagine, or my sense of humor;) )

I don’t really have the answer to all this, but maybe you can relate to some of it too. And denying the question or forcing an answer is not the same thing as finding the right one. O, and did I mention how much I love speaking French too? I know the answer is within, and I’m getting closer every day to finding the external solution to the age old riddle, what is the meaning of life.

Peace and love,

MJ

 

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