There seems to be a lot of talk in my world these days about ambitions and goals and dreaming big and striving. And I feel more than a little removed from it.
So reading what Allysa wrote really hit home in a pleasant way. She quoted from a commencement speech by Bill Watterson (the Calvin and Hobbes guy), and it’s a pretty great speech:
“But having an enviable career is one thing, and being a happy person is another.
Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding* job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential-as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth.
You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them.
To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.”
I have a good job that I’m very good at, but it’s certainly not a career. My husband is an engineer, which sounds very career-ish, but he treats it like an interesting enough well paying job that he happens to be very good at. I treat them both like the path to lots of travel and keeping me in oil paints and mortgage money and cds.
In tangential but related news, I called my doctor’s office yesterday, and asked about IUD removal. I’m going to wait a week or two, and then go in. So. Yes.
*spell check doesn’t recognize this as a word. What does THAT tell you?