Job, Profession And Calling

“Each honest calling, each walk of life has its own élite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance”

[James Bryant Conant]

When I started this blog, my intention was to find other motherless daughters. Women who could relate to me and my story. I hoped sharing our experiences would help me shed light on my past, it’s impact of my present and give me an outlook on my future.

I found Patrice. Finding her has been a blessing on so many levels. Most of all because she showed me that my search in the online world was not in vain.

Through our conversations I have started thinking about jobs, professions and callings.

As I have stated before I am keeping this blog anonymous in an attempt to protect the privacy of family, friends and myself. Divulging that my field is that of law however is non-classified information.

I love being a part of the legal guild for so many reasons. It is not so much a job, but more a profession. I am not sure, if it’s my calling though.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t question my ability. Even at the risk of sounding conceited, I think I am pretty darn good at what I do.

What I am questioning is, if this is what I was born to do.

The first “thing” I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a cowboy. Yes, a cowBOY, not a cowgirl. Seeing as I told you all about being a tomboy growing up this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

I think I was about 5 when I decided that my calling in life was to ride and tame wild mustangs, herd cows and sleep under the starry skies of the open prairie. I blame Karl May and his wild west stories for this. If you don’t know who Karl May is, don’t worry. It’s not general knowledge as far as I am concerned. He was a german author who wrote fiction stories about cowboys and indians (most of which he published from inside his prison cell).

Anyways, after spending many spring-, summer- and fall-vacations on horseback and discovering the lacking comfort of camping, I ditched the cowboy plan.

Next, I wanted to be a children’s book author. I was in LOVE with Enid Blyton. I wanted to be “George” from the fantastic five series, I wanted to live in a boarding school like Hanny and Nanny and most of all I wanted other kids to fall in love with my stories the way I had fallen for Enid’s. I gave up on the idea when at about 12 the concept of money entered my reality. I knew I wanted to do something that would be able to support me, give me financial security and buy me $ 100,- jeans when I wanted them without the approval of my father.

That’s when I decided to become a doctor instead. There were so many hospital shows on TV and I was addicted to all of them. I wanted to heroically save lives. I wanted the stressful lives of ER doctors. I wanted to restore limbs and bring people back from the dead. So why did that dream go sour? Well, I think I mentioned before that I was an A student for the most part. This did not apply to math. I don’t know why, but figures and I never matched well. It wasn’t that I didn’t try I just never understood them. I always like saying I have “mathematical dyslexia”, because that’s exactly what it feels like to me. The logic of numbers just simply isn’t mine. In any case the minute I found out that med school involved even the slightest hint of math that was it for me.

My next great calling was that of an investigative reporter. I wanted to be in the front lines of a war field reporting live with wounded soldiers, I wanted to uncover great political scandals, I wanted to reach, touch, and inform people. I wanted my articles to be the first thing that every living person read at breakfast. My father had a journalist friend working for a popular political magazine and I spent hours quizzing him on everything there was to know. When he got layed-off, when print-media started taking its first fall, I freaked. The security money offers has always had a strong pull on me. So I buried that dream along with the rest.

Psychologie was my next big interest. I wanted to work with children who had been wounded by life. I wanted to make them “all better”, bandage their little hearts. I interned at a children’s psychiatric ward for 3 months when I was 18 to make absolutely sure, that this was what I wanted. It turns out, I was not cut out for the job. I was on a train home one night when a lady came up to me and asked me, if I was okay and if there was anything she could do to for me. Up until then I hadn’t even realized that there were tears streaming down my face and every other passenger was looking at me. I had to close that door or it would have broken me.

I flirted with the idea of international politics. I imagined myself working in Brussels, changing the world with innovative ideas, being the voice of the people. This affair was only short-lived, because I couldn’t and wouldn’t handle the cut-throat politics of the game. No pun intended.

I worked at a marketing and marketing-research company affiliated with A.C. Nielsen next and went through their trainee program and I thought this was it. I would start of as a project assistant and slowly work my way to my own accounts. Speaking english, german and french would give me an edge in the european market and I would be able to work with new clients on new products every day. It wouldn’t just be a boring old desk job. I would travel, I would see the world. After about 6 months I had it. It wasn’t as glamorous as I thought it would be, I was underpayed, seeing as I was the only one there without a college degree and I was working long hours and most of all week-ends. I was over it.

That’s when I realized how important college education really was. So I put my thinking cap back on and did a bit of soul-searching. My father is a lawyer, so I didn’t really have to dig that deep. I grew up around briefs, schedule hearings and inside court-rooms. I knew the reality of the job. So I applied to the school I wanted to go, was accepted and everything moved on from there.

I never really regretted my choice, but even after all this years I can’t say it’s my calling.

On the other side I couldn’t really tell you what my calling is. I am not passionate about anything else either. I enjoy numerous things, but there is nothing that holds my attention to the point of passion.

Lately I wonder, if the reason for that is, that I haven’t really figured out who I am yet.

I am an almost 30-year-old woman, but sometimes I fear, that I have never moved on past the 2 1/2-year-old girl.

All I really want to be “when I grow up” is my mother’s daughter.

 

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3 thoughts on “Job, Profession And Calling

  1. Wow, I started out this post a bit blown away. I’m so happy to have made your internet acquaintance : ). So happy. After I wiped my face, I showed my daughter proof that somebody else in the universe actually appreciates me, she tried to hide her shock : ). Then
    I got to reading the post. First off, I love history, love to see how one world gives birth to the next, so seeing how you applied this to your career trajectory was super fun to read. You’ve accomplished so much and you’re not even 30 girl…I’m jealous. If I wrote out my evolving and devolving aspirations it would be quite hilarious compared to yours. My dad was a construction worker, and most of my brothers went on to have their own contracting businesses. Being a girl that didn’t seem an option for me.

    I think it’s important to feel passion for something, it sounds like you have a lot inside you though. it would be interesting to dissect what passion actually is, what it looks like from the outside, as a witness to it in others, and what it feels like from the inside as one experiencing it. I don’t think I’m passionate about being a therapist per se, but I am passionate about being a liberater of sorts, helping those who have been held down by life in some manner get back up, hearing a quiet person find their voice. Maybe that’s why I’m attracted to your blog, seeing that you seem to be interested in finding your own voice as a motherless daughter. It makes me want to find mine too.

    • I love that you enjoyed reading this post – I actually had fun with this one, even though it might not be evident right away. I’m not sure, if I actually accomplished as much in my life, as you might think. I think the hardest thing I am trying to accomplish is becoming me. It’s so funny that for the longest time (up until about 10 monthes ago) I absolutely negated that the loss of my mother had any impact on my life. I just thought something was wrong with me. Then I read Hope Edelman’s Motherless Daughters and it all fell into place. I felt like finding an alien finding my mothership 🙂 I love your outlook on your profession. Giving people a voice is one thing but enabeling them to find their own goes far and beyond that. I truly admire your spirit. I don’t think it makes a difference if you are a constructer, a therapist, a lawyer, a doctor or a cowboy as long as their is a sense in belonging in what you do. Most succesful people tell you to do what you love and the rest will follow. I think you are on a great track as far as I can tell
      On a side note what you said about your daughter made me chuckle. It’s so funny how when you are that age your parents are complete fools and everybody else walks on water. 😉 I wonder why that is?
      In any case thank you for taking the time to comment on both posts and most of all thanks for listening 🙂

  2. Pingback: Why The F.B.I. Needs Me | Thirty Years Of Growing Pain(s)

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