Monday, May 19, 2008

finding my spot

(may 16, 2008)

my little (big) brother does this thing when he is going to bed and he has done it as long as any of us can remember – he wiggles and fidgets and flops around until he finds ‘his spot’ before he can get to sleep. i guess it is something about finding that place in your bed where the sheets, duvet, and pillows align for the perfect combination of fluffliness, firmness, coziness, warmth, and coolness.

i think i am doing the same thing right now, but in a more metaphorical way. i am not the most confident person at the best of times in terms of what i have achieved and accomplished academically or professionally but lately i feel like perhaps i am still trying to find ‘my spot.’

i am good at a lot of things, but not great at any one thing and i think that i want to be. i want to be so passionate about something that i excel at it and become known for my knowledge and experience in that one area. maybe because the reality is hitting me that i am leaving my job and this field for the time being, but if i were to stay, i would join the ranks of people in the world who know a lot about human trafficking. there are not that many people who can be considered ‘experts’* on the topic and in some circles, i am considered just that. but a few more years of experience and exposure, i would probably feel confident that i am gathering expertise.**

but do i feel so strongly about it that i can continue to commit my career to it? i am not so sure. but are people who are really good at certain things really in love with those topics? i sort of doubt it. but i still like to think so.

i have a few ideas of what i could be that passionate about and i plan on exploring them in the near future. i just hope that i can find something, stick to it, and love what i do.

until then, i will continue wiggling, fidgeting, and flopping until i find my spot, however long it takes.

*although i hate that word and think it is thrown around at whim around here

**another word i hate


Anonymous said...

This may not be your problem, but just in case . . .
For much too long I felt that if something came too easily, was second nature, then it didn't count. I should be taking classes in harder subjects that would challenge me. If I did (in school or professionally) what came naturally, or easily, that was somehow cheating.
I dislike the current use of the term "passionate," and "follow your bliss" is close behind.
The now-to-me-obvious thing that somebody should have told me (well, actually, just telling me would almost certainly not have accomplished much; I would have taken some heavy duty convincing) is that you should follow your abilities--the interests and skills that you are already good at, and take for granted, and are mildly astonished that all other people aren't equally good at.
(If this thought doesn't ring a bell, just disregard it. Obviously I am talking about me, but, if you are lucky, not about you.)

La Cabeza Grande said...

Lu, I trust that - over time - you will, indeed, find your "spot!" I think you've expressed the ambivalence and uncertainty of the gifted, caring but humble* among us quite well.

*By the way, I mean true humility and not hubris.

lu said...

thanks for the notes. i totally agree that we should focus on what we are good at and have been trying to do that lately. i would like to think that writing is one of them! or at least it comes easily and that is something.

i might try and stop worrying about not being passionate enough. i am probably more principled than necessary anyway!

kristen said...

There is one problem with focusing on what we are good at- sometimes we don't necessarily like what we are good at and really love something we are not so good at. But at the same time, sometimes we have to do what works and find a way to like what we do.o

I too have been thinking a lot lately about what my "spot" may be and what might be coming up next. It is both terrifying and exciting at the same time.

I agree that there is something about "passion" that has gone horribly wrong. Must we be passionate about everything we do? I'm sure not passionate about doing dishes, but they have to be done every day. So I guess life ISN'T too short to do things we don't feel passionate about.

This is one of the most disjointed comments EVER. But I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think we all are trying to find our spot under the covers...and that spot isn't static. What might be great for 4 years, might not be the best spot for the 5 years after that- but it did prepare you for that next perfect spot...

ahhh...ramblings before coffee. love it.

I hope you enjoy your last little bit in Kenya.

lu said...

yay, loving the comments. thanks peeps!