11.10.2009

Guess it's time to sell my old textbooks...

You know how much I love you guys? So much. Who helped us to get over 1,000 fans on Facebook? You guys did. (Well, actually you guys are the fans on Facebook.) Who helped us to get over 2,000 followers on Twitter? You guys. (Again, you guys are the followers. Semantics.) Who helped us win 3rd best local blog in the Washington Post’s Best Night Out of 2009? That was all you. If Meg or I genuinely don’t know something and pose the question to you all, don’t you come up with the answer? Yes. Yes you do. I’m constantly impressed by how awesome all of our readers are. And I mean that. (Thus concludes the schmaltzfest portion of this blog post.)

I know it might not seem like it all the time. I’m sort of like the absentee stepfather of the blog. You had Patsy and Eddie in the beginning, but that was young love and drifted apart, as most young relationships do. Then Meg outed herself [Editor's Note: When Chris says I "outed myself," he means I outed that my real name is Meg and not Patsy. Not that I'm gay. Because I'm not gay. Just wanted to clarify that. K, I'm gonna go lick a chick out now.] and introduced you all to Becca, the new bird. “I don’t know about this, but I’ll give it a fair shake,” was what you all thought, whether you know it or not. But when Becca called it quits, you thought “Meg is the only person I can ever trust around here.” (And I know this for a fact because I can read minds.) Then Meg brought me home one night, and naturally you were suspicious. You kept expecting me to disappear, like all the other birds have. And then you found out I have a drunk texting problem. And hate nerds. And am genuinely not funny sometimes. And now I think you really might hate me. But this extended metaphor has a point! I know it got lost in there (refer back 3 sentences), but it has one. What I’m trying to say is that I’m going to do my best to be a better proverbial stepfather to this blog. I’m going to teach it to play catch. Or have tea parties with it. I’m going to go to all it’s school plays and soccer games. I’ll read it stories at night, and make it breakfast in the morning.

And to prove it to you, I’m going to share something with you that I haven’t shared with anyone. Not my family, not my friends, not even co-blogger Meg knows what I’m about to tell you (although by the time you read this, she’ll know, but only because she read this post!).

I’m straight.

No, obviously kidding.

I no longer have any idea what I want to do with my life.

It’s not much of a revelation, because I’m sure seven-tenths of you are saying “Yea, neither do I? What makes you so special?” And if you are saying that out loud, to your computer, maybe reel it in just a little bit. But in response, nothing makes me so special. But when you tell everyone you’ve ever known that you’re going to go to medical school and you spend four years as a pre-med student and the following two years after school working at a medical school, when you finally realize this is not for you, it takes you by surprise.

My first thought after this realization immediately was “Oh shit, everyone is going to be so disappointed in me.” In hindsight, this is probably further proof that being a doctor wasn’t what I wanted to do, as I really should give less thought to what everyone else is going to think about what I do with my life. But when your 87-yr-old, invalid shut-in great aunt, who is the sweetest woman on the face of the planet, tells you “I hope I live to see you become a doctor,” it’s hard not to have that echo bouncing around the back of your mind FOR ETERNITY.

Before Meg got her current job as a decorative paperweight, at one point she had an existential crisis because she had no real plan. Her other friends all had life plans, I had med school, but she had no direction. Well, child, I feel your pain. My current job is wearing me down, but if I’m going to look for something, what do I look for? What can I say in my cover letter to make you believe that, regardless of what my resume looks like, I really want to pursue a career in blacksmithing? What do I even want to do? If I could, I would screw all of my responsibilities and spend all day making sick mash-ups and DJ at night. I even picked out a DJ name: DJ Gingerballs. (It’s a work in progress.)

Currently, I’m at a loss. And since this revelation came over me within the past 72 hours, I haven’t really done much soul searching about what I’m going to do with myself. Right now, my current plan is to quit my job, move to DC, and be Meg’s human Snuggie. This will at least get me through the winter months, until it gets too warm to wear a Snuggie 24/7. This is all contingent upon Meg being OK with staring at my mug all the time. Which could get awkward when she goes on dates. [Editor's Note: HAHAHA! Bless your heart.] Or wants some “alone time.” [Editor's Note: That's more probable.] Details.

I’m currently opting to look on the bright side: At least I decided all this before a year of medical school. I saved myself at least 50K in school fees, not to mention I will retain some semblance of a social life, and am now much less likely to suffer a mental break studying the side effects of assorted medications.

In conclusion, I have no conclusion. I’m sure someone else has found themselves in roughly this same situation. Is there a light at the end of this tunnel? Should I just go back to college (listen to lots of Asher Roth) and try and find something else that piques my interest? Should I move to New Mexico to become a world renowned craftsman of silver and turquoise, specializing in bolo ties? Concentrate solely on winning the lottery and living a life of semi-luxury until I M.C. Hammer myself and blow all my money on gold plated gold plates? This is why I love you all so much: because no matter how ridiculous the question, you will inevitably write something. So any suggestions? What would you do if you were me? What have you done? I’m open to consider anything (although I’m not terribly limber, so running off to join the Cirque du Soleil is out). I knew I could count on you.

64 comments:

The Realist said...

Amen to that. Since I was old enough to hear and process the English language, my parents/grandparents/teachers/extended family/strangers/assorted other categories of people in my life have told me "before you know it, you'll be running a company! you'll be an exec! a CEO! You're so business minded" (this was because I was quite the lemonade stand entrepreneur) and so I grew up corporate minded.

Surprise surprise. Here I am, a consultant on the "fast track" (to alcoholism) and I f'ing hate it. I'd rather set myself on fire or rip out my toenails than come into work most days.

Instead. I have this ridiculously stupid dream to quit my job and work at a gym the rest of my life. This, by no means, means that I'm in great shape. Rather, I want to work in gym shorts all day. I also have a sad obsession with The Biggest Loser and want to be Jillian Michaels.

This revalation hit me about a year ago, Christmas time. My bestest best friend said to me "wouldn't that be a step down the socio-economic ladder?" and then the crushing blow of everyone else's expectations hit me.

So here I am. On the path to (or already arrived at) alcoholism...living up to everyone's expectations and pretty certain I'm going to say f it and wind up at washington sports clubs in a polo and gym shorts.

I applaud your decision. Wish I had the balls to do the same thing. Also, check places like groupon.com for jobs. They're hiring and seem fairly lax/appropriately snarky.

la fille danse said...

I'd imagine more than one of your readers can empathize. I spend most days at work staring blankly at my computer screen wondering just what the fuck I should be doing with my life, knowing that it's definitely not working in Excel all day.
http://www.eyeweekly.com/article/55882

Jules said...

I also stare at the computer all day. My job is mindnumbingly repetitive.

I'm looking into teaching English abroad. My friend just spent a year in South Korea, and she loved it -- while she was there she managed to save $10k (the school pays for room and board as well as providing a salary) and went traveling all over the place once her time was up.

Being able to do whatever you want without worrying about vacation time = priceless.

Anonymous said...

get a life coach. my friend is one and it sounds like they can really help. its not so much of a therapist because you dont just whine about your crap they actually help you map a plan and figure out how to get there.

http://www.lifecoaching.com/

Anonymous said...

oh, dear chris, you may feel lost now, but praise sweet bejesus that you figured it out now and not two years into med school! Granted, I quit at the same point you did (four years pre-med undergrad) but am SO happy i did. i had no plans, no ideas, nothing, but i knew i made the right decision simply because even though i didn't know what i wanted to do, i finally knew what i DIDN'T want to do, and that was medicine (banking, desk job, anything boring, etc).
yes, my options were somewhat limited but i threw caution to the wind and am figuring it out.
you will too :)

Anonymous said...

Every day I wait for someone to come by with a printout of my internet useage and tell me I'm fired. And I wonder how much I would care, aside from the panic of how to survive and pay my bills.

I can't help but feel like there are more of us out there than there are people who are not disappointed by their existance.

My conclusion is this...at the end of your life, when you look back, will you remember how hard you worked or how awesome you were at your job? Or will you remember your friends and family and having great experiences with people you love? I'd like to think it's the latter, but the way everyone acts presently makes me waste a lot of time panicking about the fact that I don't care more about my career and future life plans.

I think your answer is that there pretty much isn't an answer, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

I am in the same place my friend, its terrible.

James said...

I have no idea regarding the feasibility of this suggestion, but both you and Meg seem to legitimately enjoy writing/blogging in general. And pop culture. And snark. Why not put a work profile together and shop around to professional blogs like the Gawker network? Maybe even as a freelancer? You guys have a hell of a popular underground blog with a huge catalogue of hilarious posts to show for yourselves.

This will probably guarantee you a bucketful of alcohol-fueled stress and a poor writer's lifestyle, but I dunno, aren't all those people working on books or some shit like that?

In high school, I told a friend of the family, who was about 45, that I didn't know what I wanted to do when I grew up. He said "Neither do I." Figure out something you actually don't mind doing that'll pay your bills, and decide what you actually want to do for the rest of your life, or maybe just for a few years, or maybe just to try. Fuck everyone's expectations.

...But maybe let great-aunt Nonna down a little easier than that.

Shelley Greenberg said...

Chris. I feel your pain. Believe me, I feel your pain. I just posted one similar such BIG POST on my blog today about how I recently realized PR isn't the field for me (I've spent the past 5 + years studying it, working in it, and blabbing to everyone about how I wanted to own my own PR firm one day). And then - poof. I realize it's not for me. (Okay it was less like "poof!", more like months and months of endless agonizing, but that's beside the point.)

The point is, I'm doing something about it. I made a list of everything I love that makes me happy. Things that have always made me happy, like cooking and food and reading and writing and kids and animals and art projects and photography.

Then I looked for a part time job that related to any of those things (have to pay the bills somehow). I found one such part time job. And then I quit my current job (like - last week, quit). I start in January and I'm beyond excited for it. The rest of the time will be spent... err, how to put this? ... Figuring out my shit? That kind of sums it up.

My advice to you (if I'm yet qualified to give such advice) is to figure out what you love, and just go do that. It doesn't have to be the forever plan. It can be the temporary plan. Maybe the plan, for awhile, should be not to have a plan. Plan to be flexible, plan to learn. For some reason, I'm convinced everyone's purpose will emerge if they let themselves be open to the possibilities and free themselves from a one track career/life path.

Mmmkay babbling. Good luck! x

TinyDancer said...

Chris - as you know, you are most certainly not alone in your quest for the meaning of life. If someone says that have not felt like that at one point or another, they are LYING. I think that the only way you can truly find your calling is by trying different things and assigning them a 'yea' or 'nay'. You've already done one: Doctoring? Nay. Now try others: Scuba diving in Lesser Antilles? possible Yea. Painting abstracts whilst blindfolded? Another possible Yea.

You don't know under you try. It's not a naive statement, I'm doing it right now! My latest attempt at a career path: customer service representative? Nay. I wanted to punch all customers in the face.

The Kuh said...

I thought I wanted to be a teacher until I started working for an educational software company. Once I had to talk to them all day, I was O.U.T on that.

I know lots of people that need to find some sort of fulfillment in their career, I am just not one of them. I may do something I am REALLY good at, and get NO deep satisfaction from it. I dig what I do now, but who knows if I always will. I kind of feel like, during the day, I am going to do whatever I have to in order to make the money I need to fund the rest of my life. If I don't feel fulfilled, I find something extra-curricular to do with myself to make me feel like I am making a difference in the world, like volunteering. Or blogging, though I am quite possibly the world's worst blogger. But whatever.

I know you still have to find something to DO, though, and my advice helps big fat 0 with that. Sorry. You could always do what I did. Slap "Some college" on your resume and go do something totally random. Maybe you'll slip into something you didn't expect, and hate it little enough to let it fund your free time. Maybe?

Natalie said...

Chris, I too am a former pre-med kid. Didn't study abroad so I could finish up the requirements, took summer school, had a similar great aunt ida moment and everything - I was in it to win it. And then, I just wasn't. I worked at a hospital, got to spend time with doctors, and realized it wasn't for me.

I did decide to stick with the medical field and I'm currently applying to nursing school, but that came after two years od aimlessness.

Chris - the universe works. You might not have the whole answer right now (and that's unsettling, especially because pre-med stuff is so secure as far as having a tangible plan) but at least you have step one. Just breathe and enjoy the freedom for a moment. There are plenty of people who are in med school/are already doctors who don't come to the conclusion you have until after they're $200,000 in debt. :-) So at least there's that...

A Girl said...

As a fresh first year resident (in radiology), I must say that I really think there's something in the medical field for everyone. From nuclear medicine to pathology, to a public health specialist working at a desk all day, you really don't have to be the stereotyped doctor working days and nights, covered in various bodily fluids. Just sayin'...make sure you really did consider every possibilities, cause being a doctor is pretty awesome :) But if you really don't think it's for you, that's great too. Better not suffer through med school!...

Wiggs (The Beholder) said...

There are SO many people at my business school who have medical backgrounds - there's a ton you can do with the skills you've acquired in the last couple of years. For instance, you could be pharmaceutical sales rep (for a drug that you believe in, like the HPV vaccine or something). Basically all you do is drive around your nice company car and schmooze doctors. Yes, it's not the most ethical job you could do, but if it's a product you care about then there's nothing wrong with getting doctors to prescribe it. Plus you make bank. Just sayin'.

On the other hand, you could go into consulting (bear with me, The Realist) and specialize in the healthcare industry. Then you get to travel all over the place AND it's a great resume-builder. That might be a good option if you want to get out of the healthcare field altogether, as well. Like The Realist said, consulting can be rough and you wouldn't want to to it long-term, but you could use it to launch your career.

I guess what I'm saying (since they drill this into us at business school) is that you'll probably have to put up with a couple of years of hard, sometimes crappy work to get on a path that inspires you. That's just the nature of career-switching.

OR you and Meg could focus on writing and publishing a book, since ultimately that's what BOTH of you need to do. And being a writer kicks ass, if I do say so myself.

Meagan said...

What did you want to do at 15? I don't mean, "what did your parents etc. want you to do" I mean went you thought ahead to the future, where did you imagine yourself to be? I spent the first year out of college confused as hell. I'm still working the job that I don't want. But I applied to the Peace Corps recently. I realized that I wanted to be abroad. At 15, I wanted to be abroad. There's no guide book. There's no real set of rules. And you don't have to have a direct path. Right now, in your 20s, you need to do what makes you happy. What is it that you enjoy? Volunteer. What do you like to read? Do that. If you want to be abroad, look into the Peace Corps or take the 50k you otherwise would have wasted and backpack through Europe. Learn a new language. And try to avoid ennui. Don't become what you think you're supposed to. http://xkcd.com/150/

Laura said...

law school. the surefire destination for everyone who doesn't know what they want to do. only i've gone that route and now i've acquired the debt and am having my own existential crisis about what to do with my life. so maybe that's not the best plan. but rest assured, you're absolutely right--you're certainly not the only one going thru it.

2 Birds, 1 Blog: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

Chris- if Intervention has taught me anything, it's that drugs are the best possible way to improve your life. If I were you, I'd write "meth" on one piece of paper, "crack" on the second and "heroin" on the third, crumple them up, place them in a hat, mix 'em around and pick one. Whatever drug you pick, you should start doing immediately.

I can only see this going really, really good places.

Santa Chiara said...

Well, I was a theater major, so obviously the whole go-to-school-for-something-that's-an-actual-career bit eluded me. But I'm a grantwriter and it's a pretty sweet-ass job; I work a lot from home, and by home I mean either "coffeeshops" or "bed", and knowing something about the arts got me lots of arts organizations as clients. You could try the same thing with medical nonprofits and make a KILLING.

Anonymous said...

I've been struggling with this since the first day I sat in my new cubicle after graduating with an engineering degree. I often think of ramming my car into the wall at the Starbucks drive through just to delay my work day little bit longer.

In the last year I've realized I must do something as each day is eating away more of my soul. Withe each slurp of soup from my cube neighbor, each cackle of the admin laughing at something that wasn't even funny, each time I see a nit wit get promoted I want to submit my two weeks notice on a yellow post it note and move to Mexico and fish for my dinner.

I realized after I couldn't sleep even after self increasing my sleeping pill dosage at night that something must be done about this. Of course nothing has been done about this, but isn't one of the first steps admitting you have a problem?

Yes, I too have a problem.

Try reading The Alchemist. It didn't provide answers but it helps put things in perspective.

James said...

4th bag: Jager and antidepressant cocktails.

liz said...

http://oddjobnation.com/

and if that doesnt work, just road trip your way across America. Find jobs on craigslist (or oddjobnations) along the way. Become a patriot and american geography expert while blogging your travels (which will make for amazing stories). Carry mase. Catch up with friends and family who are located all over the place/free and safe place to stay. Possibly get jagermeister to flip the bill for the whole thing by using the platform of 'Post-grad guy who can't find/doesnt want a job because he is confused and is the face of this lost generation'. Also, you will be a cross country jagermeister rep bringing this sweet nectar to all of the obscure parts of our great nation or might be non the wiser to this liquid key to happiness. Introduce them to the "Red Headed Slut" shot and you will never be forgotten.

katiebee33 said...

Travel. At 21, I had only dabbled in college and was unsure of what to do. I was working in an office making okay money and knew I wanted to travel and eventually get a degree. So I moved back home for 6 months saved every penny and went on a 6 month South American adventure, volunteering along the way and partying my ass off. When I got home I knew what I wanted to do. I went to school; got the best grades I've ever gotten and found a job doing exactly what I love. I look forward to going back and getting an advance degree at some point but that might require another travel. It is not a silver bullet to finding out what to be but it is a great way to meet people, try new things and learn about yourself. Good luck in whatever you do!

Anonymous said...

I had exactly the opposite experience: frittered away college, and then realized I wanted to be a doctor but had to make up for my GPA. But I'd rather have that than be either of two roommates who went to med school and wish they hadn't. The travel and oddjobs would be awesome, but another option is to find a consulting or other generalist gig so you can observe other peoples' careers a bit and switch around a lot. The best thing would be to find someone you want to "be when you grow up," and then ask them how they did it.

Someone told me once that I shouldn't go to grad school until I'm "hungry," meaning really ready to work towards the goal rather than wanting a burrito. Don't go to school until you want it. The backlog for law jobs is ugly, and school is expensive.

Caitlin said...

I'm sort of at this point as well, but while I still enjoy being in advertising, I'm at the end of my rope in my current work environment.

I've thought of my perfect escape and perfect job, though I know it can never come to fruition. My best friend and I want to quit our jobs, drive a hybrid and follow our favorite bands on tour, writing about our adventures in our sponsored blog. I wrote about it on my own blog a couple weeks ago, and with each passing day I find myself wishing I could actually make it happen.

We might as well warn high school students now that it doesn't matter what the hell you major in in college, you're gonna resent it by the time you're 24 anyway.

la fille danse said...

"We might as well warn high school students now that it doesn't matter what the hell you major in in college, you're gonna resent it by the time you're 24 anyway."

Amen! How many times was I told, "Well, you can do anything with a History degree." Lies.

Lindsay said...

I have no idea what the hell I am doing. I grew up in the SF Bay, went to college in Los Angeles, and then I moved to Oklahoma. Yes, Oklahoma. Supposedly it was for a "job" - but really I was running away from home because sometimes you just gotta get away from your crazy mom. Wait, what? Oh, and then I got here and the economy crashed and the job folks at the NPO revealed they didn't have the ca$h to pay me. Did I mention I had bought a car the day before? I got a job in an office which was awesome until my boss went off the deep end INSANE at which point I walked out with approximately 17 minutes notice. I got a new job the next day, as I am simply above the recession. What I am saying, really, is that nothing has gone according to plan, so I have stopped making them.

I saw UP over the summer and it (I kid you not) gave me a new lease on life. You know that photo montage at the end? When the little old man realizes that his whole life has been an adventure, just not the one he had planned? LIFE CHANGING. Here's what is important: not what you do, but who you do it with. Laughing, eating good food, drinking too much on (frequent) occasion, and mailing care packages to your besties.

Hey, and look, at least you didn't hit a guy in the face when he tried to kiss you: http://wildflowersinherhair.wordpress.com/2009/11/09/remember-when-dick-cheney-shot-a-guy-in-the-face/

I dunno. I'm just going with the stream of consciousness here. But really, you're not alone. Make a list of all the things you love and figure out how to get paid for one or more of them. It's trite, but I think it works. Also, I think the best jobs are the ones that there aren't degrees for. When I figure out how to get paid to be funny, life is gonna be real different, I can tell you that much.

Megan said...

YES! You are me. Except instead imagine you went to law school because of everyone's expectations, you suffered through several years of quite serious depression, you decided maybe this lawyering lark wasn't quite for you, you were recommended for a position by a professor, you took it (oh, path of least resistance, you were so appealing when I could barely wash my hair without crying) and now FOUR YEARS LATER and multiple therapy sessions, you are just deciding to quit for realz, no seriously. I fantasise about leaving this job. Luckily I have the boyf who believes we can live on fresh air and love, and who thinks that me quitting is the best idea ever.

My point is: thank sweet Jesus you realised this now. I let other people's expectations plot out nearly a decade of my life and I regret it so much now. I used to have dreams that I quit law school and my entire family disowned me. Clearly this is nonsense, but it felt like truth. People who love you will just be glad you're happy - they just want you to be a doctor cos you told them that's what you want! So if you tell them you want to be a master of decoupage, then they'll want that for you too.

I hope it goes well.

LW said...

Whatever you do, do not go back to college, that is just silly. I think most of us can attest to the fact that our majors have nothing to do with our jobs.

I say lie to your Aunt and find a rich sugardaddy in the meantime.

Also, have you looked into the field of clinical research? Pretty cool, it's like medicine only you tell the doctors what to do! There are TONS of clinical reasearch jobs in the DC area. You should try Quintiles.

Mtina said...

Meg, it is super too bad that you are not a lesbian because I would totally take you on dates where human snuggies were the required attire. Chris, don't lose hope darlin'--on the bright side it gives you even more of an excuse to be the shittest one of us all come Dec. 5

Anonymous said...

Here is one idea: Take a look at comprehensive career list and cross off the ones that you have no interest in. Once you are done, evaluate the ones that are left and look for similaries - Do sciences still appeal to you or not really? Do you want to work with patients? Are there a few options that seem a bit out-in-left-field that really appeal to you? And if so, what makes them particularly attractive?
You will start to see a trend in your likes and dislikes which will help show whether you need to go back to school, or opportunites where you could volunteer, just to get an idea of whether a new field is for you.
Also, informational interviews are a great way to meet people in a prospective field and learn about their careers. I've gone on a number of them recently and it's helped me a lot in my job hunt. And people love to talk about themselves and their careers.
Good luck!!!

Traci @ Approaching the Drop Off said...

As someone who also has a theater degree, I graduated school having zero idea about what I was going to do. I ended up slinging pizzas at Pizza Hut for a couple of months, then heard a job opening at a radio station, applied, got the interview simply because I had a theater degree (it makes me "creative") and fell in love with radio. I'm not at that station any more (thank God) but I am still working in radio and it's likely what I'll do until I don't work anymore. So just jump. Apply for anything that interests you or you think you might be good at. You never know when you'll find what you love.

2 Birds, 1 Blog: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

Meg, it is super too bad that you are not a lesbian because I would totally take you on dates where human snuggies were the required attire.
OH SHIT! See you December 5th, kitten.

Anonymous said...

WHAT ABOUT A PHD!? Hello, I am getting paid to get my PhD right now. Become a Research Assistant and study pharmacology or biomedical engineering or something! I mean literally, you get pay, a degree and job security (for 4+ years)! What could be better?

Secretly I also have no idea what I want to do with my life and just figure if I can get a free PhD, why not? Well if you like going outside and seeing daylight, maybe not for you? But do it. Tons of meek sightings to blog about.

Anonymous said...

p.s. I meant to add a funny comment about how you could still become a doctor, just a doctor of philosophy but forgot. and now it's not actually funny but it's true. You can still make Aunt Ida proud!

Harriet Olivia said...

Ooh, you're everyone I know. Let's see... my friend dropped out of law school at a similar point, but used her legal knowledge to get a journalism role at an online snarky legal site and now her crazy boss tells her about his mistress, buys her shoes and pays for all our drinks.

I parlayed 4 years of dithering about doing nothing but reading fashion magazines and devouring pop culture into a journalism job... writing about fashion and pop culture and shallow shit.

Be a medical journalist! You can be drunk all day and get given free stuff!

Anonymous said...

Chris, we are two peas from the same pod. I too engulfed the 'I'm going to med schl' mentality to prevent myself from facing the reality of not knowing wtf to do with my life (it was also a pre-emptive strike against a quarter life crisis...which I am facing now). After college I started working as a Clinical Research Coordinator and currently waste away 40 hours/wk of my life that I will never get back at a dead end job. The startling revelation that jump started what I like to call 'Anti-med' is that I HATE patient interaction. I abso-fucking-lutely hate patients. They are a special breed of idiots that make you wonder how the fuck some people survive into adulthood with zero common sense and/or intelligence. They also explain the ridiculously high number of malpractice suits filed every year.

My solution is to go to law school (boring) then join the FBI (awesome). The only problem is that the FBI requires applicants to have refrained from illegal drug use for 10 (yes, ten) years prior to applying...it's a work in progress.

Interplanetary Asthmatic said...

Well, at least you'll probably be able to fetch a pretty penny for your textbooks. I took English lit... I have all kinds of weird paperbacks that no one will ever want to use for anything other than paper mache (Hmmmm...perhaps I can paper mache wolves out of my Canadian Wilderness lit. course materials?)
Anyways, I feel your pain. I've done everything from teaching overseas to landscaping cemeteries and am soon going to be working as a welder's helper while doing some copywriting on the side.
THAT SAID...
most of my greatest and best adventures (ex: having some kind of Japanese mob boss, through the translation of his first in command, Toto, pay his minions in the Philippines to take my friend and I to an all night reggae festival in Cebu on motorcycles) have happened because I was absolutely plan-less.
Take a breath and enjoy some maplessness!!!!!!

LifeIsThisIt said...

If I had my act together in my 20's I would have become a textile designer so I could make cloth. I love to go and touch all the cloth in the fabric store. I don't sew and I'm not crafty, but I like cloth. I am a database/analyst geek and like (not love) my job because every day I have a puzzle to solve. I love the crossword and my daily work provides me with the same satisfaction as a crossword. Of course, 4/5 of my job is bullshit. You can make numbers work for or against any position. I mostly like to make my spreadsheets look the same everytime, like a signature. So, if you like fabric my advice - textile design, if you like puzzles, kill Will Shortz and take his job or get a data-driven job. Either way - follow your bliss, no matter what you pick when you are my age you will find yourself saying to yourself and sometimes aloud, "My job is so meaningless, why can't I work for the Gates Foundation?"

lovenotestoself said...

DJ GINGERBALLS! DJ GINGERBALLS! DJ GINGERBALLS! You know, now that DJ AM offed himself, I think there is a new slot open. Screw DC and get out to LA where you can live with 10 other wannabes and have lots of wild sex. Or do what Meg said. Problem solved.

Katja said...

Dream Job: Raise cattle in the Swiss Alps. I was there recently and was seriously jealous of the farmers. They probably make next to nothing but I wouldn't care. Unfortunately I can never, ever have that job because I don't speak Swiss-German and have zero experience with cattle, farming, land owning, and immigration. I should have been an Animal Science major. I'm an accountant. F@*K.

Chris, I feel ya. Also, everyone who feels like driving their cars through Starbucks (love it!) or going to Mexico and living off the fish (also love it!), I seriously feel you.

beth ann said...

This comment won't make you feel any better, but I wanted to let you know that your post made me feel a lot better. I have NO IDEA what I want to do with my life so I quit my job and moved to DC. I'll let you know how it all works out.

Lady Dominique said...

hmm if I were you, which I am because I am a philosophy major which is a nice way of saying "I have no plan, and thank you parents for paying for college!!", I would pick up some books [specifically of the existential variety ie Kierkegaard or Nietzsche] feel the support of people who care not about what you "do" but about what you love, and who you are. Then throw yourself 100% into not planning and doing what you love (i know cliche, but somethings in life that sound cliche are in fact pretty DAMN radical). Additionally you are freaking gifted, I am addicted to this blog and writing for this blog is only one aspect of your life meaning that you probably are gifted in many other areas (no I do not support prostitution though) and you probably have somehting you could find yourself devoting yourself to.

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Anonymous said...

Well if it's any consolation I really admire you for stepping up to the plate. And after spending 4 years in classes with the antisocial egomaniacs who want to be doctors, I almost guarantee you would be better than them.

This entry has been really cathartic for me because I'm in the same position with vet school except I have no where near the guts as you do to throw caution to the wind and be a writer/explorer/artist/Santa Claus? basically anything that doesn't involve copious amounts of science and math. and oh yeah, killing animals.

Well if you change your mind, maybe ill see you at an NA meeting sometime in the future...
~Amber

Anonymous said...

As a loyal reader who literally sat at home watching CSI all day due to a lack of a job and being a grad school dropout, I salute you sir.

Chris said...

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of the Comments Section-

This was oddly really comforting. Thank you. Sincerely.

So I'm going to kill Will Shortz and take his job. Anyone want to provide me with an alibi on the night in question?

Margo said...

I've got your back Chris. Here's your alibi: You were helping me move into a smaller apartment than I am already living in because I make NO money at a job I don't like. I'm too afraid to quit though, because of the whole money thing, but more because I have NO idea what job would be better for me.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous PhD student, I used to share your line of reasoning. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but I knew I liked science and I knew I wanted to get a prestigious degree in order to make prestigious money. I figured a PhD was the best route, because it was free. The first 2-3 years, I reveled in being able to be paid to learn. Then came the dissertation. The last few years have been hell, because I realized that you really have to be invested in and believe in your dissertation research and love doing science in order to a)produce a quality thesis in a timely manner and b)not shoot your brains out. And invested in my dissertation and being a scientist I am most decidedly not. I thought it would be more of a breeze, but 6 years of making just enough money to eat PB&Js for dinner and not liking what you do wears on you. Thankfully, it looks like I will be able to finish the degree, but I wouldn't recommend it to someone who just wants to wile away the time for free until they figure out what's next. I agree with many of the other commenters that listing your loves and interests and then pursuing them, money and other people's opinions be damned, is a more fruitful way to figure things out. Getting a graduate degree just to get it only postpones the inevitable what-do-I-do-now crisis. To steal someone else's word, this post and comments has been cathartic for me...good luck to everyone!

Anonymous PhD student said...

I was suggesting PhD route because I thought Chris WAS into science, just not being a doctor.

Just a suggestion. Degrees open up a lot of opportunities...and I figured since he worked in a lab now he might like research!

But I guess you gotta have some sort of goal. Good luck, Chris! And everyone.

Michelle said...

if i were in your shoes, i'd join the peace corps. instantly.

Anonymous said...

Just do whatever you really want to do now. you are young enough to change everything and still have so many years ahead of you to enjoy life. After graduating from college I took the first job I was offered because I was nervous about paying my bills. I ended up being miserable every single day for an entire year. One day I just quit and went home. After lounging around doing absolutely nothing for 6 months I ended up getting a job in a completely different field that I had never thought of before and I absolutely love it. Everything will work its self out in the end.

RetroTrasher said...

Cathartic is one word for this post and subsequent comments. I found myself jobless, with a degree in something I absolutely detest, and with a broken arm living in a studio apartment I couldn't afford when I got a temp job that turned into the cubicle I reside in now. An 8th grader with a learning disability could do my job and the insurance I shell out way too much for barely covers the therapy sessions I had to start taking.
Ever since I was old enough to hold a job, I got one, worked full time, went to school full time, got a dumb degree, continued to work stupid jobs and saved saved saved like a mother fucker for what? A car, a house, a baby? Of which I have none.
So today I'm calling up my local STA Travel center and I'm making an appt for Saturday and I'm hell bent on buying my round the world plan ticket for spring.
I don't have any plans after that, but I don't care.
I'm done regretting, worrying, and sitting in a cube.
Viva le travel!

Casey said...

I feel your pain. I've been in the same state of conflictedness for the past 2 years.

What I did, and it may not work for everybody, but it's working out ok for me:

I am still at my job so I can feed myself (barely) and put a (delapidated) roof over my head. Meanwhile, I'm going back to school part-time for my Masters.

I figure that once I finish that, I'll either: a.) Know what I want to do, or b.) Get knocked up to a rich man and just be a stay at home mom.

oh kate said...

my backup plan has always been to move to Greece, raise penguins and rent surfboards. I don't know how to surf or raise penguins. Details.

Anonymous said...

Find something to do & do it with integrity and enthusiasm (even if it doesn't come naturally to you), and don't try to look too deeply into finding 'meaning' from your job-- jobs and money come and go like the wind. Cultivate great relationships and look to them to feed your soul. Best titles in the world to be going after are spouse, father, friend, brother, son.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, I'm probably comment number 57 unless someone comments before me. But let me just say, I feel for you... and mainly because I'm afraid I'll be in your position in about a year or two. I've already delayed the matriculation to medical school by one year and I think my whole family is scared that it might be eternity. As for possible life options... still interested in medicine in the least? Because you can always be an EMT for a bit. There are usually 4 month classes, sometimes shorter ones. But some are at night, so you can take them while holding a real job to pay for the class. Anyway, it's kind of a high stress job, but you'd get to do sweet stuff. And you'd always have good stories, you know, so you can be a better stepfather to the blog. A couple weeks ago, my friend had to hose off a man from the highway. Yes, hose off, because all that was left was blood and guts. They had already picked up all discernible pieces. And if you haven't figured it out by now, EMT is my plan for my year off. Who knows if I'll make it to medical school.
And if you really think that's crap, then join the Peace Core. (My plan b.) Get a job in research (actually I think that's apart to torture). Get a Masters in Public Health. Get a masters in Art History, History, Psychology, Philosophy... all of the above?
Good luck. My vote is still on EMT. You'd have such awesome stories.

aj

Anonymous said...

obvi you're not the only one! and i'm not either! although i'll admit, i have finally found what i want to do... but it took some time. i spent 4 years post undergrad working a job i was miserable in with no end in sight. i was "too young" for this and "too inexperienced" for that... even after 4 years. shit. i thought once you got out of college, the doors would open up! life would be glamorous! i would have money, fabulous job, be able to buy a house at 25, married at 27, kids by 30. well, i'm 27 and have none of those things (and still not close to any of them). and at that, only 2 weeks vacation a year... sucks. however, during that time, i really realized what i didnt want to do and started to explore other options. and i found the right option for me (at least i hope). and i'm back in school now, finally passionate about something. i'll let you know how it works out... but you have time, kick back, explore, make sure you know what you want before commiting to it.

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Samantha said...

So I know I'm super late in the game. I only recently found this blog and I've gone back to the beginning to catch up on everything. That said I think you guys are hilarious and are the only thing that keeps me from standing on my desk at work and hollering and smashing things. Recently, I have been considering moving to a tropical location to sell tourist chachkies...I know your pain...even though by the time I've posted this you may no longer have this issue. kthxbye

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