Tag Archives: career

The Race

Why is it that we seem to have a need to compare ourselves with other people? Isn’t it odd that we generally decide how we’re doing based on where others are at?

I’ve decided to get off my career path and start again on another one. The trouble is, every now and again I speak to a friend from high school or someone I went to college with and I panic. The worst is going onto facebook! I’m often left feeling like there’s a race on and I’m coming last.

I’m not sure where this desire to keep up with the Jones’ starts. Does it come from watching our parents and mimicking their behaviour, or is it instinctive? All I know is that from an early age, I decided I was a fast runner based on the number of people I beat in a race. And that in itself may not be a bad thing. What’s worrying though is that again at an early age, I started letting the herd decide which attributes were important. So in high school the fact that I was gifted academically didn’t matter because I was terrible at most sports and sports were what mattered. At university it was popularity and again, my kung fu was weak! Now, as an adult in his late twenties, the social currency of choice is career and money.

But hang on. Why do I care? Why do I feel pressured to conform to society’s standards? Am I just a weak willed person or is it the same for everyone else? What is success? Living up to my peers’ expectations, or having the courage to pursue my own dreams, regardless of the social consequences? It sounds so obvious but when it comes down to it, how many of us have the courage to be different and to stand out? Who among us doesn’t want the admiration of their friends and family?

At the end of the day it all comes down to courage. Courage to leave the safe, secure rut you are in and try something different. Courage to risk failure. And the biggest one for me is the need for the courage to step out from under the umbrella of my loved ones’ approval.

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I’m walking away

My wife says I’ve always been a non-conformist. That surprises me because I hate sticking out. Don’t get me wrong, I like attention as much as the next guy, but I don’t like sticking out too much. I’m happiest when I’m in a group and feel like we’re all going in the same direction. You know how most normal people grow out of wanting to change the world and become realists? That hasn’t happened to me.

Of my friends, the one I look up to most went to law school and tried to set up a business when he graduated. It’s been 3 years now, he’s moved back into his folks’ house, but he’s still determined. The reason? I guess he’s just really stubborn and has decided to walk away from the rat race most of our other friends are in. I guess he just can’t handle being a comodity in some manager or director’s eyes. Since he can’t live in their world, he’s trying to create his own. Now maybe, God forbid, he’s an idiot who just doesn’t have a solid grasp on reality. I hope not, because I’m following in his footsteps.

My plan is pretty simple. I love writing and discussing ideas and sharing opinions. So I’m going to try and make a living writing. I’ve also taken up photography and I’m going to teach myself how to design and develop web sites. The plan is that by the end of the year I’ll be able to get by on something that’s birthed out of these activities.

This blog is going to be a record of my journey. Not to mention practice writing and maybe, my very first audience.