"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


i joined Idealist.org about a year ago, when graduation was pending and "the future" we'd always talked about but never really pondered was looming, no, was here. i was terrified i would collect my diploma in May and then have nowhere to go and nothing to do. after 16 years comfortably riding out the formal education system and its strongly set paths, the idea of the track suddenly ending and launching me forward with no idea of what lay ahead was worrisome.

i think this fear of the unknown is dangerous; rather than explore the possibilities and potentials of the unknown and undecided, we are swept into fates we don't want b/c of fear of failure. i think this is particularly true among the freakishly driven and busy, those whose schedules drive them to the point of burnout and leave them with hardly any sense of what "free time" means. suddenly the idea of not having something to pour all yr energy and time into feels like failure. why?

the point of this post is this: i felt that after struggling with the process of writing my undergraduate thesis, i needed a break from higher ed, wanted to put off grad school, and avoid law school. i figured working a job in the meantime while i sorted out my feelings for formal ed was a good idea. and so i signed up for Idealist to look for jobs, something to fall back on in the next year.

that was a year ago, and i still get the emails. i can't bring myself to unsubscribe from their email list b/c, admittedly, i guess i'm still looking. i check their emails, every day, to see what alternate lives i could be living: lead filmmaker in Venice, community organizer in Chicago, youth media coordinator in NYC, and lament the disparity between my current job and the work i could be doing instead. every time i read about a new job, a different salary, a different locale, i imagine completely different lives and wish i had been more comfortable with uncertainty.



Chelsea said...

your second paragraph really hit the nail on the head for me. i think that's why i got these extra jobs, because i was so used to being busy throughout college and high school, that after graduation i had too much free time to really know what to do with.

you should apply for some of those jobs! what could it hurt? if you're really unhappy with your job in l.a., maybe you could find something truly different and exciting to do next year instead. i mean...filmmaker in Venice??? go for it, girl!

Rae Jin Devine said...

So, according to Bill Green, my project has been morphing into a memoir focused on my life and gaming as part of said life. Apparently a Westerner before me wrote a senior project that was essentially her thoughts about life and she graduated.

Is this awesome? Y/N

I found this post, like oh-so-many others, incredible. I'm on the opposite side though. I can't imagine living life so scheduled, so regimented.

To have other things grasping at my time...at me...constantly is a fear. I fight it despite enjoying any sort of distraction that would focus my mind away from worrying about everything.