Smart security [Thursday, Mar. 27, 2008, 7:07 pm]
Sometimes I think it all comes down to security. When I was a kid, my parents provided that for me. Now that I'm an adult, I shouldn't be depending on it as much, even though I know they'll still be there. Over the last few years, just being at school has been something of a security too, in that food and board are all paid together in a lump sum, and I know why I'm here and what I'm supposed to be doing.
Now that school is nearly over, however, I seem to be taking the majority of this need for security, and transferring it onto the idea of getting a job - nothing amazing, just a job, so I'll have income and be able to live.
That's wrong. I mean, it's good to want to earn money, but if I'm using that as my only recourse to security, I'm in error. And if all this helps teach me to look to God more than I did before, it will be worth it - it just isn't easy to say that now. And I know that most of the stress on me is of my own making. I'll be okay. I really will.
Over break, I've been reminded of how fulfilling something like physical labor can be. I did about a day's worth of work, washing walls at my grandparents' old house. It creates a different kind of exhaustion when it's physical rather than mental. I'm not in prime shape right now, and so I get exhausted quicker than I'd like to, but sometimes I really prefer working at a job that I can listen to the radio while doing. There's an unfortunate stereotype sometimes that people who do physical labor do it because they're not smart enough for other things - that's very untrue.
My Uncle, who I worked with, has a Bachelors degree in History, and went back to Bible school later to learn French, etc. He spent time as a teacher, and even taught missionary kids in Africa for a time - and yet right now he's making a living doing painting and other odd jobs. But he says that "a job is a job is a job." I've been reminded of that lately - it's not what you do necessarily, it's how you do it. I just want to be good at what I "do," whatever it ends up being, even though I don't plan on ever being the breadwinner for a family.
I also sometimes want something to drop in my lap rather than chasing after it, but that's a different story. Lately I've been reminded of John Kennedy Toole's characterization of Ignatius Reilly in "A Confederacy of Dunces." (thanks Galen!) Despite his pettiness, I feel sympathy for the character. He's an obese man with a Master's degree and an extremely educated vocabulary, and yet he still lives with his mother, and can't even hold onto a job selling hot dogs. I know I'm not quite like that, but that amusing character serves to remind me that "book smart" and "street smart" are very different things. In fact, there are numerous different categories of "smart."
So, um, I guess the moral of the story is to just go with the form of smart you're most akin to, and make friends with people who possess the other kinds :-D
Vitality - Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009