Thursday, March 25, 2010

Switching Gears: Spoiled to Deprived

In all things, it's always important to reevaluate. If things appear to not be working out, sometimes its best to leave the project and return later or to create a new approach. I began this blog with the intentions of feeding the homeless and blogging about my efforts. To be honest, I was searching for feeling of purpose.

I've picked up and put down How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie a few times (the archaic diction tends to deter me...), and though I find myself fighting to commit to the book, one specific argument still resonates with me: all people want to feel important. A large part of keeping a positive moral within an office is to ensure that employees feel they are needed, their input, talents and efforts are recognized and of value. I must say, though the book was written in the earlier half of the 20th century and some of the supporting evidence is outdated and causes me to laugh, the arguments still hold true.

Even though I feel valued at my job, what I was doing wasn't important to me. Not to say that I'm not dedicated in my business endeavors or that I don't care about my performance, but I felt a feeling of emptiness- a gaping hole at the end of the day that what I was doing wasn't going to change the world. I realize that most careers don't allow us to put on a cape and rescue kittens from trees, but I was searching for a way to feel important to myself, the most important, and most scrutinizing boss.

Though my intentions were good, the follow through and the passion just wasn't there. It's not that I don't care about the homeless, or that I don't try to toss spare change their way from time to time, but it proved not to be my calling. I was afraid of becoming the iconic and cliche blogger that just rambles about herself without any reason to really solicit readers. But, when it came down to it, I wanted to write about more than just the "turning right" project I'd initially proposed; I have much more I want to divulge expand on. And with that sentiment, my blog will veer away from the brain child from with it sprung.

The transition from college to the real world is a difficult change. All four years of college are focused on self-improvement: getting smarter, making friends, having fun, preparing for the next step. I spent all four years so full of dreams and ambitions that I was so sure would come true pending my receipt of diplomas. But almost one year after graduation (wow- really can't believe how fast that went by!), not one thing I dreamed of or aspired to do has come into fruition. The main difference between college and real world: sometimes, hard work, talent, effort and dedication still doesn't make thing work out. Me explico: When I studied for a test, prepared, went to class, took good notes, asked insightful questions and attended discussion groups, I got a great grade. College was a simple formula: Effort + Time = GOOD GRADES. I had been spoiled in college: I had great professors that believed in me. They inspired hope; they made me believe in myself, and I felt entitled to the same simple equation translating directly from college achievements into my career.

I keep hearing over and over that "I'm young" and to "give my first job a whole year". I've never been a patient person, or someone content with anything less than complete satisfaction. (I'm a habitual perfectionist.) Not to say that I don't appreciate the reminders that being 22 and fresh out of college isn't necessarily an indication that all hope is lost, but why not now? I realize that I am fortunate to be employed full time in a recession, but, at the sake of sounding trite, no greatness was ever achieved through waiting. At the same time, packing up my things and following my heart might lead me to be begging for quarters on Market Street. (And this is not my intention.)

I think there are a two main schools of though in life: fatalism and free will. On that spectrum, my philosophy falls somewhere toward fatalism. I think everyone has a final destination that they will realize in their life. Sometimes we take paths or make decisions that can lead us away from this destination, but equally, I think we take action to expedite the journey. Occasionally great opportunities fall into our laps; however, many times, we have to make our own opportunities. I don't think that filling up my tank with gas and just gliding along to the instructions of my TOM TOM will always get me to where I need to be; sometimes you've got to just use intuition and your gut instinct to know what's best. Even though GPS may say "remain on route 101 S for next 20 miles", maybe it's the next exit where I should really be getting off.

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