Where Logic Meets Love

Adulthood, the Future, and Our Weird, Beautiful Lives

Sunday, February 26, 2012

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Today's inspiration comes from another YouTube video. You don't have to watch it to read the post, but I think you'll be glad you did.


There are a lot of things I love about this video.

Adulthood

Since I recently wrote about how much of my time gets sucked away by customer service problems, I thought his comment that "adulthood primarily consists of standing in line and being on hold" was one of those statements that is both funny and sad because of its truth.

But aside from that, his comment that he thought adulthood would consist of having interesting conversations about great books made me exceptionally grateful for the blogosphere and my fantastic readers specifically, since even as an adult I do get to continue having interesting and challenging discussions -- sometimes about books, but also about religion, marriage, politics, education, sex, and all of the other topics I find fascinating.


How the Future Unfolds

By chronicling the career paths he and his friends took after college, he deftly dismantles the notion that our college dreams (and majors) somehow dictate our future. And hearing the paths that he and Randy each took, I was reminded again that it's impossible to predict exactly how our future will unfold because so much happens in response to unexpected events. I mean, no one says to himself, "Yes, I am going off to make films and think that I will end up writing for a magazine because my friend who is going to divinity school is going to drop out and end up working for a magazine and will want to hire me."

I'm less than three years out of college and I could have never predicted when I graduated that I would be working not in publishing but in data analysis. You don't plan for things like, "I'll get an administrative assistant job because I'm desperate and then the director of assessment is going to move onto the floor where I'm working and I'm going to be bored and looking for extra work and that's how I'll end up running the entire school's course evaluation system."

I believe this is what Ramit Sethi calls "being open to serendipity."


What Life is Really About

What I love most about this video is when John points out that, as cool and crazy as it is that he and his friend are both atop the New York Times' Bestsellers List, that isn't what gives meaning and beauty to his life. His friendship with Randy is wrapped up not in their career accomplishments but in the times they've spent together and the memories associated with those.

What does it mean to have a "successful" life? We will not all have the opportunity to be on the New York Times' Bestsellers List, or whatever the equivalent is in our own lines of work, but we all have the opportunity to build strong and lasting relationships. John has had the good fortune to have both experiences, and he places more stock in those relationships and memories. That should be a clue to the rest of us about where our time and energy are most valuably spent.


Also, I enjoy getting to see John Green as a dorky college student :)

4 comments:

  1. Wow, thanks for sharing that one! I love it. I graduated from college and did exactly what I wanted to do, teach science in a science museum. Then 6 years later decided I wanted to go back to school and study religion and women's studies. I have decided that you never know what you want to be when you grow up.

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  2. @Jacki
    I think the idea that you are going to be *one* thing when you "grow up" is a relic of a previous era, in which people learned a trade and then stayed in that trade their entire life. Now it's far more common to change jobs and even industries multiple times over the course of your life, and I wish that our common language (e.g., the phrases we use, the questions we ask young people) reflected that reality. If you have the opportunity to follow several different passions in your lifetime, that's a blessing, not a sign that you haven't settled down or find your one right place yet.

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  3. So I am a new follower and I just had to comment on this post because it is just so relevant to me .. it's almost eery. I am starting a new job working as a customer relations support specialist (or something like that.. my title makes no sense to me) and I graduated in May with an international affairs major from a ridiculously good university and I have really been struggling with this first job of mine... but I keep reminding myself that it's okay... And this is what life is about- those unexpected changes and little bumps in the road that turn out to actually be just helping me get where I am supposed ot go anyways... so really nice post :)

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  4. @Jessica
    Thanks so much for your comment, and welcome to the blog! I saw on your blog that you've started a happiness project, which is awesome. I did one last year; you can see all my monthly recaps here.

    Congrats on your new job! The great thing about branching out into a new field is that you're diversifying your experience and your skills--so you may end up loving this field, and now you're building up experience in it, or you may hate it and then you can go back to the job market with your international affairs education and your customer relations skills :) Win-win! (I do job search coaching, so this kind of stuff is near and dear to my heart!)

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