Thursday, August 12, 2010

At least I have hiking shoes

This week, I saw Joan Rivers' documentary A Piece of Work. Joan is fascinating, not as nice as she appears on The Apprentice and is so driven it is awe-inspiring and, for me, unnerving.

Joan says several times in the movie that she was always destined to be on stage. She knew it at a young age and will do it until the day she dies. She has had many low points in her career and, despite being 75 years old, she is desperate to do whatever it takes to get back on top.

Like Joan, I'm in the process of reinventing myself. Unlike Joan, I have no idea what I was destined to be. When I was little, I'd say "When I grow up, I want to be a lawyer, an artist, a doctor and a ballerina." In a word, unfocused. I'll throw in overachieving and overly ambitious.

Until now(ish), I have always done everything "right" and hit every goal. I excelled in school, studied for my SATs faithfully from 7th grade on, got into an excellent university, studied hard to win academic awards and graduated with honors and a 3.75 GPA. As an employee, I worked hard and climbed up the ad agency ladder. All reflected in my transcript and resume.

But in reality, I was simply lost the day after college graduation. I'd mastered the school game and now I needed to embark on a new journey. I had no idea where to go, no idea what to do career wise. For long and involved irrelevant reasons, I fell into advertising. Despite not really caring about this industry, I threw myself in and advanced, just like I did in school.

Now that I'm FUNemployed, I have the opportunity to follow my destiny. But like at the age of 22, I have no idea what I should be doing. Right now it's writing, but I just wish I could be sure.

Like Joan, I'll pick myself up and fight another day. Maybe my journey is to be a hyphenate: writer/face serum seller/dog walker. For some reason, I have this amazingly confident feeling that all will end up ok. Life and fate will give me my path. And a map. Plus some hiking shoes? Ok, I'll take care of the last part.

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