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The past couple of days have been really hard. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do after the MBA and how I can do it in Paris where I am now, and more than anything, about everything I am leaving behind to continue my program in Philadelphia. I’ve done a lot of thinking about a certain someone in particular and what has made my life so good here. Things are getting tough with my work now (not so much because it is intellectually challenging as the time crunch and having to do a ton of group work), and I’m trying to piece it all together what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.

I’ve wondered why I didn’t just become a French teacher or something like that. That was my Plan B if the MBA program didn’t work out. I would have had training in a concrete skill, a professional certificate, and a fairly clear professional plan. I would have a job that surely gave me adequate time, if not resources, to travel; I would probably have been near my family in the US if not teaching abroad.  I would know as I was making a difference in the lives of children/high school/maybe college students. I would have time and energy for pursuits outside of work. I would probably be doing no evil.  I do believe I would be a great teacher, although the structure, routine, and bureaucracy would bother me. Not a bad life on the whole.

Contrast this to the MBA ish career route, potentially in management consulting. Work 4 days away from home, staying in a hotel, about 12 hours a day. Good to great money, high intellectual challenge, very good prospects for many different careers after a few years. Making a difference at the strategic level of companies.

Or public policy career, potentially with a multilateral organization like the UN. Save the world, a little bit, through white papers and administration. Don’t necessary get paid as well as the private sector, but high job security. Potential to make a difference in the lives of millions.

There’s not really a right or wrong path among them, and there’s many variations on all of them. Just trying to look for light at the end of the tunnel and see what I can see to look forward to. My boyfy said I can’t think too much about that, I just have to take it day by day and do what I need to do today.

Speaking of my dude, he is awesome. Still have a lot to get to learn about him, very very sad to leave him in Paris. We don’t always have deep discussions about life or politics (though we kind of have). If I married him, I could probably not get married in a church, and I’m not sure I would baptize my children.  But so far, he is the best man I’ve ever dated.  So if, after reflection and discussion and most of all, time, and the blossoming of feelings, I don’t think I would let the fact that he is Muslim stop me. L’essentiel is his character, above all else. He’s also really cute and funny.

As far as jobs go, I guess I don’t really know what the next step is. I’m happy I’m where I am at now though, and I’m glad I got the chance to pursue Plan A, business school, and I’m learning stuff.  What for, I don’t always really know, and I don’t always feel like I’m really learning, to be honest. At least not like I learned at my liberal arts college, or at my internship. But I guess I’m getting somewhere. I know I am leaving to go to Philly at the least.

I guess what it all comes down to is needing a little bit of faith.I haven’t really found a “passion” yet, at least not one I know exactly how to translate into a job, but I’ve got some time, till September 2013. Sometimes I feel like I don’t know where to look, but at least I have a better idea of what I’m looking for. I know that, when it comes down to it, I really want a good marriage and family. I want to be excellent at something, and to make an impact, but exactly whtat and how have not yet become clear. What has become more than clear is that this world is crazy and its values are not really my own.  I know that I can’t have it all, at once. I’m not really sure exactly what I want, career wise, than to have the opportunity to speak French on a regular basis, to pay my loans back, and have sufficient funds for budget travel.  And I do want something that could lend well into my longer term ambitions of becoming a public intellectual (le sigh) and a teacher (of what, though?) So yes, just because I don’t know where I’ll end up, or exactly where I want to get to, in love or in life, but I know I am getting some hwere. Though my heart feels heavy to leave Paris, I feel good about it in a general, and I have faith I’ll end up where I want to be. Same thing for my dude, who is not technically my boyfriend but whom I hope will continue acting like one.

Raise your courage to being bigger than your problems, to having something to drink, to being in good health, with good friends, and if in France, drinking at least fairly good liquor.

Don’t forget how much you have to offer the world, and what blessings rain down on you that very secret.

And now, it’s time for sleep.