Sunday, August 31, 2008


This memory is stuck in my head:

I am 15. Dad is stepping down as Department Head, and I am in the middle of a crowd of academics at a reception for him. I am wearing my Nine West penny loafers and my navy pinstripe, bias cut Ann Taylor dress. Some women, who apparently knew me when I was a baby, pinch my cheeks and tell me how grown up I am. (If I am so grown up, why do they think it is okay to pinch my cheeks?) I mingle like the miniature adult I am until one of Dad's colleagues calls everyone to attention so he can tell humorous work-related stories that epitomize the man of the hour, at which point I slip behind the refreshment tables and munch on orange Milanos for the rest of the night.

I am happy that I shed the traditions and expectations of my parents' socioeconomic class and opted for a simpler, less formal life when I left for college. But perhaps I have strayed too far in denying my talents and intelligence in order to avoid social responsibility.

What am I doing delivering pizza for a living?!

Current song: "Hallelujah," Rufus Wainwright


dj4aces said...

Sometimes, rebelliousness takes many shapes and forms. Sometimes you choose to do something you feel is below your talent levels or what you value yourself for the simple experience of it.

Me? I build and repair computers for a living, and I probably make less money than you do in doing so. When I was growing up, I would always hear from my father that I wouldn't amount to much. I always had high ambitions as a kid, and always wanted to work with computers. He worked at an airport doing air freight from the mid 1970s to ... well, present. So perhaps he felt a need to "bring me down" so to speak.

I work in a small outfit, much like you. The pay is crappy, but I know more there now than I did when I started, 20 June 2005. I could probably open my own place, if it weren't for the really difficult financial situation the country is faced with at the moment. But the one thing that has been of the most benefit for me is the experience. Sure, I don't make enough money, but I do make enough to survive. It has been a sheer challenge to deal with all the problems I've had to over the last three plus years, but it's been a fun trip so far.

However, I am looking at making a change. I want to return to school and study something else. I might do the business administration thing, or I might go out and study one of my passions - astronomy. I'm only 28, after all, so it's still doable for me.

Whatever decision you make, be sure to do what you want to do. Don't worry so much about what your profession is for the time being, just make sure you enjoy yourself while doing it. Have fun, and don't let anyone bring you down simply because you work pizza delivery.

Katy said...

How many times have I asked myself that same question! Well not so much the pizza delivery, since I don't deliver pizza. But I do other things that my Father likes to conveniently leave out when boasting about his incredible kids.

What I'm realizing though is that this simple day to day living is much more than a childish rebellion. These same principles that lead people to shun careers and corporate success are the principles that lead people to real social change and (hopefully) revolution.

Taking the time to evaluate the world and your role in it is definitely not a denial of your intelligence (which you have in abundance) or talents (ditto). If you decide to jump into overachievement, perhaps you'll be more protected from the burn out that people now experience at age 30. Or, on the flip side, maybe you're more well prepared for the drop out that is becoming so prevalent in western countries.

Either way, I think you're doing it all perfectly!