“Do what you love and the money will follow”.
Children start to morph into adulthood. Though still carefree with the wind in their hair, they start to wonder how to best proceed in shaping their own happy futures.
Travel abroad, independent filmmaking, business, all three, none of the above, what?
There are those who, from the day they could run, have known their heart’s desire–what career they would love and would fit into all while making a decent living. Looking at long career arcs, growth, publications, recognition, I observe these lucky people enviously from afar. In my weaker moments, I twist my hands in despair for my own lack.
A square peg, my life’s work has never screamed out at me with clarity or success. As a result, I have had some success but also many miserable difficulties and failures along the way. Now, I work in a superficial industry that does not at all require the MA that I have, entertains me and provides uncertain income. I am thankful that I finally found something that works well enough in my life, but know that I want things to be different, better for my children.
Not surprisingly, I gravitated towards and married another square peg, who, brilliant in analysis and absorption of academic material, had no idea what career made the most sense for the person he was and is. Instead of ruminating among library stacks to ponder abstract ideas, where he belongs, he now bends his back under the weight of grinding deadlines, the drudgery of billable hours and demanding bosses and clients.
Still, there is happiness to extract from each day. Every day there are children to admire and delight in, wine to sip and both new and familiar people and experiences to enjoy.
But, In light of our own squiggly career paths, how do we best guide our children and their futures?
Is “guidance” something we really should or can do?
What college choices make the most sense for them and our budget? Which institutions and then careers will give them room to explore their interests? What paths will feed their souls as contributing adults?
I am utterly at a loss for words here.