Just vibe with me…

I will return to Balmania-bashing shortly, in the mean time, sorry for the shortage of my witty witty commentary on shredded tees.

In my senior year of college, one of my professors posed this question: would you rather be happy or famous [seriously, only philosophy/comp lit professors would ask these kinds of questions]? In my pre-graduation bubble of chippy naivete, I said, happy, with some certainty. He said, he and his wife answered, famous. Which seemed, to me, to reek of vanity.

This, by the way, is the same professor who gave me a book as a token of gratitude for my services as TA and wrote, “To Jae, For you, for whom beauty and truth are the same thing; these are the foundations of faith in yourself; this book for my finest teacher of that truth”. I think that he means, hey, you would follow the glittering light outside of Plato’s cave, only to come back as the jerk who won’t stop telling everyone “the truth”, which is SO TRUE on so many levels. [Also, the nicest thing ever written about me, the challenge is on]

But, now, I find myself reevaluating my answer. I don’t think I could ever be content with just being happy, for many reasons, one of which is my neurotic tendencies. I put in my deposit for law school last week. Finally, after many melancholy talks loaded with insecurity [on my part], I have accepted Fordham as a good school, even though the aspiring elitist in me will always be remiss that I am not Ivy material. Oh, nothing like exclusivity to shake my self-esteem to the ground. But immediately, I enter a state of existential crisis, where I am questioning my choice of career especially since my passion and interest seem, so ostensibly, to lie somewhere else. [What does it mean that NYFW moves to Lincoln Center as I start law school right across the street? Nothing. Just checking] After seeing my friend and meeting all these random people my age in China, who have these amazing jobs with the liberty to do what they want, I came back with more than a little bitterness about my own station in life. While I have been mostly happy with my job for the last two years, I can’t help but feel like I didn’t get to exploit my full potential. Although I’ve learned a lot directly and indirectly from the job, I feel like it has kept me stagnant. I wish I could go back and do it over, maybe, even go to China (or somewhere similarly bold). Especially on a day where I owned on all fronts, speaking 4 languages back to back within the hour. I am frustrated.

Even though law school is the next step in what has been my plan since forever, I feel like I am somehow putting “real life” on pause, if not on rewind for a bit. As if I’m voluntarily going back to a (non allegorical) cave, when I could be doing something else. Therein lies the problem, I am never happy with what is. I’m constantly in an unsteady state of flux; just restless. Like today – I hit up the Jil Sander sale, even though I was lusting after all the fluffy weird sheer s/s 08 goodness, I forced myself to make “practical” purchases and came away with a shirt that goes perfectly with my one suit. Except the suit is Helmut Lang and not entirely conservative enough for a law firm interview really, but I’ve been trying to convince myself that it might. See what I mean? I always feel like I’m settling, one way or the other.

One day I’ll feel certain that I feel this way about life, and the next, I’m questioning myself. When I reach one goalpost, I create another, in so doing, I create uncertainty for myself, which never makes me happy. Therefore, “happy” becomes very theoretical.

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4 responses to “Just vibe with me…

  1. Noire April 25, 2010 at 7:25 PM

    Jae,

    Bring happiness from theory into practice – from the external and ephemeral things to the intrinsic and immortal.

    La vie en rose twin.

    -r

    • mlle z April 26, 2010 at 10:22 AM

      My disposition is not that melancholy, R. What I was trying to say is that, I don’t think I would be happy with just happiness.

  2. hardliquorsoftholes May 3, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    unfortunately this perpetual goal-making (and i seriously don’t mean this to sound as depressing and disheartening as it sounds) is going to just get more and more circumscribed as you get lodged into a specialty. i compared it, in a discussion w/my law school career counselor, to something like a funnel (beer bong). you start out as a precocious child with limitless options, then you start walking down a path that narrows and narrows until one day you just drip out a lawyer.

    i think robert musil put it best, “But even at that time, as one got older and on longer acquaintance with the smokehouse of the mind, in which the world cures the bacon of daily affairs, one learned to adapt oneself to reality, and a person with a trained mind would finally end up limiting himself to his specialty and spend the rest of his life convinced that the whole of life should perhaps be different, but there was no point in
    thinking about it.”

    no, but law school will be great. as soon as i figure out how to transition out of law and into something i’m passionate about, i’ll tell you how. or if you figure it out before i do, give me a head’s up.

    • mlle z May 3, 2010 at 6:08 PM

      Omg, thank you for the input.

      That’s kind of depressing, although, I guess any adult in touch with reality can see and eventually accept it. Do you regret going into law? What would be your alternative.

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