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Adventures of a semi-employed youth pt. 1

July 13, 2010

Really I’m still unemployed with an offer for a part-time tutoring job.  Since training is this week and I don’t foresee a problem with that process, I’m comfortable calling myself semi-employed.  Next hurdle to tackle is finding another part time or full time job.  After that I need to tackle my hurdle-tackling.  I should hurdle hurdles.  To tackle them is not their intended purpose.

Is it justifiable for the guilt of choosing another option to be motivation for making a life choice?  This seems like an important question to think about, since recently guilt has been the starting point for a lot of my motivation.  Mostly the motivation has been away from aimless misuse of my time towards something constructive.  I think to myself, “What are you doing that’s worthy right now?  You have so much preparation for doing great things, so how can you let it all go to waste by sitting around browsing the internet?”  I usually don’t have an answer to my guilt-tripping, but I’m always pretty successful at drowning it out with some other distraction.  I’m getting better, though, I’m working at doing good things.  I have many things I want to accomplish, I have many more improvements I want to make to myself.  I’m overwhelmed still by not being in school anymore, I’m still feeling aimless.  I haven’t found my ground yet.  But plenty can be done without grounding.  Grounding develops out of ungrounded things anyway, just building up and grouping together.  I haven’t pulled myself out of the falling completely yet, though.  It’s something to work on.

Other guilt-tripping I do to myself involves the future.  If everyone were nice and good to each other, if I could do whatever I wanted in this world, I’d be a scuba diver.  I’d live in a nice house on a tropical island with a good education system for my kid, and I’d have a submarine and a marine research station and a scuba shop.  I’d train people to scuba dive responsibly, and I’d explore the sea floor, and find out exciting things about the ocean and the world.  But because everyone is not nice and good to each other, including me, I can’t justify that life to myself.  If I do that now, there will still be wars and famine and people doing horrible things to one another and people letting horrible things be done.  Environmentally conscious scuba diving may help the teeniest tiniest bit, but it’s not enough when I could be doing something to directly improve the world.  I am well educated.  I have the ability to make changes, large changes, for the better.  I can’t end war, and I can’t end famine, and I can’t keep everyone from doing or letting horrible things be done, but I take an active role in the fight.  I have too much responsibility to simply be a Dorothea character, doing small good deeds for the people she knows, the kind that don’t get remembered by history.  I need to use my life to be a big help.  So because people are starving in Africa, I can’t justify to myself getting to be a scuba diver.  Thanks for letting people in Africa starve, everyone else, now I don’t get to be a scuba diver.  And the worst part about all this, is I hate how I sound like a megalomaniac who’s read too much Spiderman.  With great power comes great responsibility – people will tell me I don’t have great power.  Only assholes assert their own power.  That’s another thing, our society loves having a powerful person to tell us what to do but hates people who assert their own power.  I’m not that great but I want to actually do something good.

But anyway, that’s where I am in terms of looking for a job.  I’m looking for something that I would be able to justify to a starving African person.  He’d say, “What do you do, Paul?”  And if I said something like, “I work for an advertising agency,” he’d reply “What do you do there?” and I’d reply, “I try to convince people to buy things by praising their complacent spirit,” and he’d say, “What good does that bring to the world?” and I’d say, “None at all.”  And then I’d quit my job.  It’s easier if I just don’t take one of those jobs in the first place.  If I can answer that last question with some good, it doesn’t even have to be big right now but just not a bullshit good, then I’d feel better.  Is my desire to do good stronger than my guilt at not doing any good?  I don’t know.  Is the distinction practically important?  Probably not.

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