The Career Choice Conundrum

When I think of what I want to be in life, it is very difficult to decide. On the tip of my tongue, from the surface of my mind many options emerge. Some of which I’ve liked in the past, but do not like anymore. Some which won’t work at all. And some, which I’ve considered in extensive detail but still remain doubtful.

But when I think of what life I would like to live, the answer is much simpler. I do not care for a very fancy house, but just a decent, even small, apartment. And knowing myself, it will be filled with books to the brim : books slanted diagonally on shelves, stacked one after one, and tens of those shelves, haphazardly above view in nearly every room. Like for many people, books have been to me a sort of surreal comfort, and as an introvert a well-needed, well-craved source of much-needed time alone. I don’t know if anyone shares this same view, but I’d like to know 🙂

And I want not a very rich life, but a nice one. One where I’m not struggling to pay rent and work odd jobs, just to pay bills. Or where sometimes, I’m forced to starve myself because there is simply no food. With my career I choose, I know that even though I’m not pre-occupied with buying a ferrari; it needs to pay the necessary bills.

Till a few months ago, for a very long period of my life, I had become possessed, if you may, with the altruistic dream of becoming a journalist. I loved to write, and naturally doing more research into that field, I realized it would be perfect for me. But only recently have I considered the dangers, which are many, and the paycheck. Don’t get me wrong, I have not abandoned my whole dream for the shitty paycheck, but rather because of having lost interest in it and the news, gradually over the years.

Then, I considered law, from my father’s insistence. He sat me down, after we had been talking a bit, and he said, that I always had a tendency since being a child not to listen to what anyone had to say. And I expected rebuttal, and inwardly I was afraid he would say that this was what he wanted me to be and I would have no say in it. Instead, he moved on to say that despite this, I’ve always given evidence as to why I was more right. And I explained it logically and simply, in a way they would understand and support me. And he said, as if conclusion, “Isn’t this the nature of a lawyer?”

I had never in my life, even touched the thought of going into law. To put very lamely but extremely accurately, I sucked in class debates, even debates one on one with friends. My knowledge that I was right in certain situations, was pushed away by the thought that I might hurt that person’s feelings. And I tended to keep the knowledge to myself, knowing privately I was right.

( I know this sounds terribly like ignorance, but know that I’ve always tried to open my mind to what other people say. And have tried, really, to understand from their perspective. Regardless of that, I do think that the truth is more important than people’s sensitivities. And I have been the terrible messenger to friends on things like, well to one, “your crush thinks of you as a sister”. Laying it on thick, as opposed to sugarcoating. And I do think people cannot have an opinion without facts to base their opinion upon. Like saying “it is not natural to be a homosexual” and having no evidence, just allows more ignorant people to breed their “opinions” and say, well, “it is my opinion, after all.” A thought based on prejudice, as opposed to the reality. )

Then, always having a natural, sheer curiosity for why the body works, and how the brain works – I pursued the notion of neuroscience. And finally, having done multiple, endless, and frankly very long, personality tests, the profession psychologist has come up a lot. And I have since evaluated that, very extensively.

I’m aware that this is more a personal post, but I hope that my own absolute confusion of what to pursue in life, aids you in deciding (if you are in matric, or high school similarly) that it is not an easy choice (although for some it is) and if you are confused, like me, you are not alone. And it is perfectly normal, and really okay.

It’s a huge decision. And while I encourage you to pursue your dreams headfirst, and follow your passions I do also think, tenderly, that sometimes people have trouble locating exactly what their passion is, sometimes they only find it later in life but also that passions can also stem from a very young age. And that when chasing your dreams, you don’t obscurely run after them blindly. But before that, you layout some ground work, do your homework, and your research, and you add a touch of pragmatic outlines, and goals, to help you achieve them faster.

I think it’s better to figure out now, what exactly what you want to be right now. But that’s just me. It absolutely normal, to change degrees, and often people end up in unexpected careers, different from their starting. That’s just life. Sometimes, you need to enroll for the wrong “one” to help you realize it is actually wrong for you so you have no regrets. Whatever it is, good luck on your path. I’m sure whichever one it will be, it will mold you, create instead of further confuse you, and push you closer to what’s best for you.



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