Saturday, 22 August 2015

What's the Point



My life is a routine of classes and assessments and the same people every day.  It's a continuity of trying to keep my priorities in the right place and aiming for the next good result, before starting all over again.

When asking people what they've been doing, it's always the same reply.  "Oh, you know, I went to school today..." and that's it.  That's it every single day because that's all we really do.  6 years of our primary school lives were centred around education, and we're living through 6 more of high school before shipping off to another 5 or more years of education in university.

"At least our subjects have variety," someone said to me yesterday when I was complaining about how unnecessarily repetitive the school life is, "When we get older we're going to be doing the same of the same thing all day every day in our jobs."  Now how miserable does that life sound?

They say do what you love and you'll never have to work a day, but what if you don't know what you love?  Everyone's aim is to be successful, and ultimately that does mean to be happy - but when you don't have a passion or a specific dream, sometimes success can simply mean being rich and famous. Being swayed by the realism of probability, I'd rule being famous out since that's predominantly dictated by chance; so I guess that leaves the aim of being rich.

Observing the people around me there seems to be two ways of almost definitely obtaining that: either work your way up to becoming the partner of some huge financial advisor corporation, as all my supposedly 'successful' relatives seem to have done; or become a doctor as the majority of private school girls' parents have done.  So in a world full of lifestyle options, I've narrowed it down to two careers, both of which I can't say I'm passionate about but will probably end up doing one of them.

In some ways, being a doctor does sound like a fulfilling life commitment.  The idea of saving other people's lives shows that you're actually doing something with your's, something more worthwhile than making money out of money.  So I want to be a doctor then?

Living in a family of this culture, being a teacher, a magazine editor, a personal trainer, an actress or anything of the sort is looked down upon.  I know my parents would support anything I do, but I also know they wouldn't be proud of a lot of the society-worthy professions out there.  I know the snobbier halves of my family would look down upon my career choice and myself as a person, unless the success factor of being rich and famous swept in.  They would become bitchy school-girls at dinner parties, talking about that girl who had so much hope but ended up throwing it all away.  It would be somewhat of a mild scandal.  That wouldn't be enough to stop me from doing what I want though, if I knew what I wanted.  This is just the culture that's ingrained itself in my head.

My biggest fear is of becoming a workaholic.  A lot of these doctor parents, or any of the people we consider rich, seem to be working 24/7.  My friends who have doctors as parents all take the bus or walk home.  They talk of their parents being 'called in' at random times because that's simply how the medical industry works.  You can't choose when people get sick.  My second aunty, my only relative in the medical field, is career obsessed, and I don't want that to be my life priority when I'm older.

But I'm afraid that the way I'm going, career is already my life priority.  School is effectively my career at the moment, and that's all I'm forcing myself to care about.  When there's important assessments, all aspects of social life get cut out.  I make less of an effort because I'm too busy spending the extra 8 hours a weekend per assignment.  I tell myself not to care about trivial things like life, but I do, and it's healthy.  Maybe my lack of brain commitment to my outside-career life is a good thing, because good grades are a tangible sign of success, but are they really all there is?

And I'm working so hard that when the time comes to pick a career, when that final overall percentile comes in, I couldn't bear to throw it away on anything less than the most prestigious profession available to me.  This profession may not be my life's calling, it may not be what I love, but if I don't choose it then what's the point of all this work I've put in?

The other day I was watching Good Will Hunting and Skylar says, "Private school, Harvard, and now Med. School.  I actually figured out that by the end of it, my brain will be worth a quarter of a million dollars."  And what's the point?

Love,
M

30 comments:

  1. This post was super thought-provoking, M! Right now, I have no idea what I want to do when I'm older....and I'm learning to be okay with that. I would just say that even though you kind of have to worry a lot about your future career- don't let it take over your life. Enjoy it. You're only in high school once. And it's better not to decide right now rather than choosing a career you're not happy with, because it's not worth being miserable your entire life. Right now, I kind of want to be an author, but that could change any day. And I think...maybe that's okay.
    xoxo
    Grace Anne // http://totallygraced.blogspot.com

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    1. Being a famous author would be something like a childhood dream come true; but no matter how many motivational 'follow your dream' quotes I see, I know I'd never pursue that. Maybe that's a sign of how un-passionate I am. You're right that I should enjoy high school while I'm here, but should I also try hard for my future, even if I'm over-trying? There's a balance between living in the moment and living for the future, and I think I've tipped the scale to the latter but I don't know how to change that.

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  2. I understand that school life can be repetitive at times. Monotonous and boring. And they never do teach us the important things in life. What if I do not want to understand Trigonometry? What if I want to learn about "How to say No to people?" or "How to deal with rejections?" Do they teach us that in school? No. All they care about is whether we know the names of the cells inside a leaf.
    And about our careers. I honestly couldn't express the dilemma that you're facing in better words myself. However, M, just know that once you figure out what your passion is, the answer will soon be quite simple. You'll know what you need to do and then the gossips and comments of relatives at dinner parties won't matter any more.
    And being rich is what counts in today's world and yet what would one do with all the money if they didn't have the time to spend it on their loved ones?

    Give yourself time, M. And don't worry too much.

    Love xo
    Saee

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    1. Trigonometry and assignments seem to be all I'm good at, and I've figured that the real important life lessons can only be taught through experiences, which I don't think I'm getting enough of because of the priorities in this family and in my head - How do I change that? When it comes to finding my passion, I have absolutely no idea what that is, and I'm afraid I never will. Being 'successful' seems to be the only fathomable goal, but you're right - what would you do with the money if you were rich? That's why I'm wondering what the point of everything I do is, but I don't know if I'll ever find the answer.

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  3. I always wondered what it would be like to work. Not having to is a mixed blessing, it can easily mean you let go of all your goals and dreams you had as a child. Life is something you learn as you go along and trust me, everyone has the same problem.

    /Avy

    http://mymotherfuckedmickjagger.blogspot.com

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    1. I reckon that if you don't need to work, and if sustaining a comfortable survival isn't a concern, then you actually have more room for those goals and dreams, because you can do absolutely anything you want.

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  4. Wow, I just realized how repetitive my life is. But I think once I find my true passion, there's going to become a point. It's okay if you change your passion, I mean sure you did all that work, but you learned things, things that you think you may not use, but who knows?

    ~Noor

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    1. To be honest, everything I've been focusing on probably won't be used unless I choose a profession that needs it. Maths and science are a matter of knowledge, not wisdom. I don't see how they're ever going to help me with becoming a more enlightened person, other than the fact that I'll have more knowledge. I just don't want to waste all that time I've spent acquiring all that.

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  5. You're still young, M. You've got your whole life ahead of you. Follow your heart and do what you feel is right, regardless of what others may think of you. As long as you're happy. And don't forget to relax every once in a while. It's incredibly important to clear your mind and enjoy life from time to time.

    Xx

    Morgana

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    1. It's easier said than done. Sure life is enjoyed, but at the same time it's put on hold for something I can't let go of. I could never imagine flaking out on an assessment, and submitting anything less than my 100% effort feels like a crime to me. I just don't know what I'm really working towards, and I don't know if I really have a heart to follow.

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  6. That's the question isn't it, "What do I do with my life?" and in the end if you didn't do what you wanted it was your fault for not fighting for what you wanted, at least that is what everyone is always telling me. Then again if you don't know what you want to do, it's just a big gamble. I wouldn't worry too much though, I am twenty one and taking life as it comes. I am okay so far :D, as for the point of it all I guess it depends on what you believe. For me this life isn't about me anyway, so as long as I keep my faith the rest doesn't matter.

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    1. A gamble is the perfect way to describe it. Am I throwing my life away on something I'll grow to hate, or am I fulfilling my purpose and living life to its fullest? And what about all the miserable time I've spent working towards something only for it to not matter in the end?

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  7. I can totally relate to this post, M. I feel the same way. I feel like I'm wasting away so much of my life stuck in school . . . there was elementary, middle, high school, and then it's off to college for YEARS. There's no doubt education is important, but by the time I'm out, I'll be, what? thirty almost? I don't want to be stuck doing something for the rest of my life that I don't love.

    Julia Anne @ Peach Print

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    1. We spend decades learning how to do stuff, most of this knowledge never used, and what if one day we change our minds and turn years of work into waste? Life is scary, and I don't understand why society grew to make it the way it is.

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  8. Hang in there, M. I feel the exact same way. I have a lot of years of schooling left, and then it feels like, after all that hard work, I'm expected to be thrusted out into the real world, get a job, get married, have kids.That's why I've resolved that after all of my years of schooling are done, I am taking at least an entire year off to travel the world. I do not know where or how I am going to get the money, but that's what I've decided to do.

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    1. Travelling is the one thing that I think is worthwhile, because seeing and experiencing new things will definitely be a way to live life to the fullest. Gap years aren't accepted in my family, but I know that one day I'll travel - even if no one wants to come with me. I guess that while we're working towards an unknown big picture, we may as well make the most of the little moments.

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  9. I know how you feel, in my opinion, primary school education is more necessary than secondary. I believe this because you learn the basic stuff that you'll probably need to know in the future. I already know what I want to be in the future, don't worry, life will get better!

    Rukiya XX

    My blog link (check it out if you want) ~ shinenelevate.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. You're lucky you already know what you want to be. The basics are essential, but I guess in a way all schooling does pay off a little, if only just for the experience and not the knowledge acquired or the work done. School is like a forced institution of socialising, and the basics of communication are essential in life.

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  10. I have absolutely no glimmer of an idea of what I want to do, where I want to end up, what my life goal is. I with there was something that I was working towards, spending all this time on, something that meant so much to me that it would be worth all the hours of studying. But sadly, i haven't found it yet either. Rich sounds good, so does famous. But that's not the only thing that matters, you're right.
    Is this all for nothing? I really hope not.
    Love, Mia xx

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    1. We practically put our lives on hold for every assessment we do, and if living in the moment and making the best of life as it comes is a motto, then why are we doing this? We ask these questions but in reality we'll never rebel against what society tells us to do. Is a life like this a life well lived?

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  11. I've honestly been wondering about life so much lately and the routine I've been living in.
    I think we're all just trying to figure it out
    Stefanie | Casualllyawkward | Bloglovin'

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    1. I don't think there's any right way of life, and I guess it really is all a matter of what happens happens. Figuring out what makes us happiest is what we need to do, and even then sometimes we don't do it.

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  12. Wow this is such an interesting thought! I think it's something everyone struggles with though, so you're not alone :)
    Sorry I haven't been visiting your blog lately!! It's good to be back reading it again!
    - July, http://julyaemmance.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks July! I'm glad you're reading again too x

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  13. I regularly feel exactly the same way. It was only last year, when stressing excessively about exams, that I began to see life in such a perspective, as it seemed that the stress then was only going to worsen through time, as I was to face new academic or career related challenges. I'd hate to think that that's all there is, and a big part of me wants to be young and carefree again.

    The world is too work obsessed, often to the extent that wealth and success are portrayed as being the definitions of pure happiness, despite the fact that they can easily conceal a great lack of satisfaction in life. I, too, don't wish to fall into this trap - I want to work to live, not live to work.

    I have ideas as to what I wish to do, in terms of a career, and hope that my efforts now will support me in achieving my aspirations in life. I'd like to assure you that I'm almost certain that within the upcoming weeks, months or even years, you will find a career that is tailored to your interests and passions. More often than not, such a significant decision is not immediate, and subject to change - especially when you're in high school.

    I wish you the best of luck in finding your ideal future, as you find yourself, through time. A fantastic post, I must add.

    Kate x
    www.theteenaspect.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. "I want to work to live, not live to work" sound like very wise words. I feel like the only times when we're not living in this repetitive structured life is when we're either very young or retired. I get that the way we live is probably better for the community as a whole, but sometimes we need to focus on ourselves in a world with set perceptions that still lets us be free. Being successful is a sign of self-worth, and yes it can make us ignorantly happy, but you're right that there are ways to dig deeper and get more out of it all, to be more satisfied. I don't know if a specific career path will pop out at me, but maybe it's the little things that can count too - and I know we've all had plenty of those little moments already.

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  14. Another 5 years of uni after high school doesn't sound much like a light at the end of the tunnel I know, but uni is pretty different - there's a lot more freedom! I'm going to sound like such a parent now but hanging in there for the last few years of high school is worth it. I mean, obviously grades don't define you but they are important when it comes to giving you more options for the future.

    I think it's okay to not know what you want to do right now (even if you do have to start planning for uni preferences etc). A lot of my friends ended up switching between courses after they started.

    I definitely know what you mean about trying to shrug off the idea of doing something for prestige! I'm still struggling with this, haha.

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    1. To be honest, I don't think I'm ever going to shrug off the idea of prestige and riches equalling success - and because of that, I know I'll be sticking it out through high school and another lifetime of uni. It does sound like there'll be a lot more freedom, but my question is whether we'll ever be truly free, or whether there's a way to reach absolute freedom and escape from all this structure. Or do people like you and I need this structure to live?

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  15. This sums up exactly what I have been thinking about my own life. It is so hard: as I feel whatever decision I make I could end up regretting and wondering 'what if?' Your blog is absolutely amazing- I honestly can relate to your posts so much. :)

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    1. Thanks Georgia! I feel like we all wonder 'what if' in life, but I guess all we can do is be satisfied with the straws we've decided to draw.

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