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I realized this today as I got a chance to read random news articles, post on Facebook, and do other other stuff during my Corporate Finance class. [The lecture didn’t add much to the chapter summaries I’d read prior to class, though the prof wasn’t bad at all. One might think that Corporate Finance is boring, but it’s more the fact that it’s a very simple puzzle that can be reduced a few basic concepts and for the level I’m at as an MBA in a general program, it’s just a bunch of chug and plug, super basic statistics and arithmetic. No idea why people get paid so much for it, except that I guess they put their you know what’s on the line.  Even the textbook stated something along the lines of “Finance, if managed improperly, can hurt the firm, but it’s what the business actually DOES that creates value” digression, but just to set the backdrop.  Prior to this class I was travelling in Croatia and the Balkans, sweet life I know]

Yeah, I got to stuff my brain with random turds of knowledge, post it all on the internet, and even get a little validation from stuff that occassionally got liked. I got to learn all about the American political scene and the fiscal cliff and those kinds of policy issues I thought would be my bread and butter for the rest of my life. Then I thought about the links between politics, economics, technology, society, and our educational system.

I thought about how the basic problem with the world today is that people are not being taught how to produce things that are of value adequate to sustain the lifestyles they want. As in, it’s the teacher’s fault.  We are being educated for yesteryear, and the only education that matters is being able to find a job or create your own for your ability to enjoy your life. I am certainly all for the liberal arts and definitely see how it’s given me an advantage in grad school and living a meaningful life, but ultimately I’m still figuring out this career game.

That’s another recent thinking, that the career thing is kind of just a game. i’ve known the whole time it was never the most important thing and thought about work life balance and all, but I’ve been overidentifying with work too much. So American, not to be all snooty expat or anything.

Most of the times I felt like I did something of value in this world, it was peripheral to what I was actually hired to do at the time, or at least how the people in charge of me saw my job.  Delighting customers, for example, is not actually part of the job description at the fancy dept store I worked at, although it’s what they hope you do. Unfortunately that’s hard to accomplish when you have a crappy manager who follows you around and makes you harass customers to try to get them to buy stuff. Management, if handled well, could be a noble profession, though how many middle managers does the world really need or want? And more importantly, how many people genuinely want to be there?

While I do still get some rise out of posting something interesting on a friend’s wall, liking positive quotes, and catching up with people via facebook (not to mention sharing awesome photos), I have to admit, being behind a computer all day is kind of a drag. For the purposes of this blog and you my awesome readership, it is a pleasure and quite therapeutic, but when I try to think about fulfilling my life’s purpose as writing an ebook on the aforementioned crisis in our society, [one book might highlight and might raise questions about and fame for me, and could be somewhat interesting and challenging to write] I question both its value for my own fulfillment and for society’s well being. I have an interesting message, and I do believe I will make it heard in the acceptable place and time. However, as much as being a social critic and public intellectual has always topped the list of things I want to do, it might be going the way of the dolphin trainer career I coveted as a child. I think I’m realizing there’s no way I’m going to save the world singlehandedly (Jesus is the reason for the season) and my thoughts, and even my actions, are of intrinsic value but they mean a lot more when I know I’m helping somebody.  When I give somebody the advice they need or the shoulder to cry on that can reflect their words at the right time. I don’t think this means I’m going back to school as a psychotherapist, or even as a teacher, because I don’t know if I could deal with the routine (though I am getting a little old sometimes and don’t always want to go gallivanting around the world without end, though if I did it WIld Thornberries style with a hubbie and all it could be different).  While I do on a metanalytical level note that if we all just helped one another, what would we ever do or accomplish as a species? Peace and harmony are important, but so is actually doing something. Hello why I didn’t go into academia, because I don’t actually like research.

I know that sometimes we need to do things that make us sad, like think about kids living in poverty so we hopefully give money or pledge our lives to the cause, read the news to stay informed, and write books so that important ideas can be disseminated. Ideas are important, too.

Just got back from a few days of constant companionship with my bestie, intermittent contact with the boy toy, seeing beautiful new places (for no real reason at all), and my old reality seems tired. I’ve also noticed that other things I’m addicted to, like drinking diet soda, actually kind of make me sad too. Along with junk food and even copious ammounts of chocolate.  Today when I went grocery shopping I wasn’t particularly tempted by some of my fave sneaky treats, like cinammon paste for putting on bread like nutella and candied kind of maraschino like cherries.  It could have a bit to do with the hormones, but sometimes it actually feels almost like work to select a dessert with every meal as I feel entitled to since I live in France and fucking have to leave in a few weeks and it’s a value meal anyway, and its in moments like this I know I’m on to something.  Something like happiness.

I guess that’s something I learned in vacation: You don’t actually need to produce anthing to be happy. What an Anglo Saxon Protestant work ethic of a lie. No, you can just be, and be happy. It doesn’t even come from having the person you know the love of your life right near you, or even family or friends.

Maybe you don’t need to have a purpose. Maybe your purpose is just being here and enjoying what you have.  La vie n’a pas besoin d’un but, elle est un but elle-meme.

Life doesn’t need a goal, it is a goal itself.

Head that from the dude I dated last year in rural France for all of five days who didn’t fully appreciate me nor I him. Funny how these bits of wisdom come to us.

Peace out friends,

MJ

 

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