how is the battle of the siblings? have you and the hawk managed to usurp the throne of good child?
Kate is referring to Operation: Good Child, an unofficial but deadly serious competition for Best Child status in my family. Sadly, all of the competition comes from my side, since my brothers are oblivious to the mortal combat in which we are locked. Here is the most recent score card:
- Missed mom's birthday (-25 points) to celebrate mother-in-law's birthday (-25,000 points)
- Access to vast quantities of excellent wine: +10
- Viable (and cute) offspring: +300 points
- Ralph Lauren-esque bride (+200 points) who can fix things (+23 points)
- Got married (+150 points) in a Greek Cathedral (+5 points)
- Lives in Brooklyn, "far away" from the Upper West Side of Manhattan: -8 points
- Fauxhawk quitting smoking today: +3 points
- No plans to reproduce gene pool: -67 points
- Stuck in unglamorous job that bores everyone: -3
- Shockingly attractive Brazilian bride (+200) expecting third child 4.5 minutes from now (+76,000 points)
- Lives in apartment a mile away from parents: +500 points)
- Apartment is two bedrooms, signalling heart-warming "love conquers square footage" approach to family life: +25 points
- Following dreams at a start-up: +35
being of the age where i'm in university, having already dropped out once, changed cities etc., i'm interested in knowing what your college experience was like if you attended, and if you always knew what you wanted to be when you grew up. because i'm halfway done and i still don't!
I didn't know shit about shit when I went to college. If I had to do it over again, I would have taken a year off after high school and volunteered in a developing country to 1) lose ten pounds from intestinal parasites, 2) get my priorities straight (after having lost the ten pounds) and 3) separate myself from external influence. But I didn't. I had no idea what I wanted out of college - all I knew is that I was there and I had to do well or else, because that is the way I am programmed. Give me a paper assignment and I would write the shit out it. Preferably on a Saturday night. Ideally on an esoteric topic of little or no interest to anyone else in the world. In a subject that doesn't come naturally to me, but is challenging and difficult so it must be important. That is how I rolled. Sounds like fun, right? I was an academic grind. I studied too hard and socialized too little and got less pleasure out of my work than I might have if I had been studying something that resonated emotionally as well as intellectually.
Somewhere in there I met some amazing people who rescued me from myself from time to time. I had wonderful roommates and friends. I had a few lovely boyfriends, and one who had B.O. so terrible I had to break up with him for unrelated reasons. I got heavily involved in two senate races and a presidential campaign. I volunteered at a prison. I shoveled driveways to pay my utilities. I sang in a gospel choir (hey whitey!). I smoked cloves and felt really, really dark. I canoed down the Charles River in a "borrowed" boat with the first boy I was ever in love with, and have never forgotten the heart-stopping moment of that first kiss.
(quote via julia)
All that time, I never really listened to myself. I lacked the confidence to pursue the things that really interested me. Instead, I just plowed ahead with grim determination until it was over. Now I think, what a douche. I wish I had treated college as a banquet full of lovely things to taste. I wish I had been more light-hearted and taken things less seriously.
I didn't know shit about shit then, and I certainly don't know anything now. What does seem clear to me in my old age, however, is that it's absolutely OK - and even advisable - not to know anything when you are in college. Just go with it. Wing your way through it and see what happens. You will take a lot of fun classes in the process and the dots will connect at some point. Have you read Steve Job's commencement speech that went around the internet 45,000 times five years ago? You should. This stayed with me:
Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards, so you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something--your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever--because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference.
Have you a new wanderlust adventure planned? Is the Hawk a wanderer? Will he wander with you?
Yes. But someone told me that if you tell people what you've planned, you're less likely to do it. So I'm going to keep quiet (for now) because I have to figure out how to do it. I hope the Hawk can come with me, but if not, I'll wander on my own (which is fun too).
Will you one day write a book?
A few people asked that, and I am incredibly touched and grateful for the vote of confidence. The answer is: I don't know. How does one do that? I would like to. I think I'm waiting for the dots to connect. (But then I read amazing things like this and think that people with more talent than they know what to do with already have it covered.)
Where did you get those adorable fuzzy pompom ball things that live in that cute little bowl in your apartment? Where can *I* get some adorable fuzzy pompom ball things?
Right here, my dear.
That is all, friends. Thank you for playing along. xoxo