Earlier I had a conversation with my dad. He seemed worried about something. He said he had “a daughter intent on making [him] old before [his] time…because [I] let stress overwhelm [me] too easily.” I asked if he meant he feared I would kill myself. He said he thought I was more stable than that for the past few weeks and he worried I would fail school and work as a cashier at Wal-Mart forever because that was the easiest path and (apparently) I often take the easiest path. I give-up too quickly. He compared me to my aunt who has a college degree, but worked half days at a lunch lady at a local school. For 15 years she worked there, but stayed part-time and never attempted to advance her position. She simply did the bare minimum. Furthermore, she lived at my grandma’s house for all those years, rent free, and without contributing to any bills, even groceries. Yet, she had 4 kids who also moved in when she did. He said if I resign myself to being a cashier at Wal-mart, it is “like taking a Maserati and using it to sell vegetables at a market.” In other words, while neither of us believe anyone is “too good” for a job because you should do what pays the bills regardless of your IQ, education, or any so-called “right” to a better job, he thinks it would be a waste for me to drop out of law school and be a cashier. He thinks I can contribute more to the world by being a lawyer.
I suppose I am being weak like he said, but that hurt my feelings. I am not like my aunt. I am not taking the easiest route. I don’t even know what he is talking about! I can’t think of anything I gave up because I didn’t want to do the work. Right now, I am not doing the work I need to do in order to complete the semester. I have not done that work almost the entire semester. It isn’t because I don’t care though. It is because I am scared. I realize that is exactly what he said. The difference is that I don’t want to give up. That is not my intention, yet I know by not studying, I am giving up by proxy.
I don’t know how to force myself to study. I have recordings of lectures. The recorder is sitting next to me; I am supposed to transcribe them and create an outline to take to exams. Since Thanksgiving, I have barely done anything. I haven’t even started one class recording.
I don’t know what I’m saying. He is right, but he hurt my feelings. He is only calling me out with the truth, but I am not like his sister! Even if I don’t make it through law school and I wind up in a entry-level pink-collar job, I would not be like her. I would give my best and I would not turn down offers to work more hours or promotions. If there was no hope of promotion in the company, I would find another job. *sigh*
Nonetheless, it would still be a waste. I know that and it makes me feel incredibly guilty. What little worth I attach to myself is based on others, either I have some worth because people who love me see worth in me, or I have worth because I can make a positive difference in people’s lives. I cannot make the same difference at Wal-Mart and the practice of law. I am squandering potential. While I could still make a difference, just by creating a positive and helpful interaction in someone’s day, it is not the same magnitude of difference and it is wasting the potential to make a larger difference. Purposefully wasting potential like that is wrong. It is not the same as harming people, but it is a little similar because I could have helped more people.
This line of reasoning is similar to my earlier posts. I am no super-human, I am not destined to do anything wonderful, but I do have a duty to try to damnedest and that requires more of me than it may require of someone else. As a result of innate intelligence (which is still not as high as too many other people) and gifts in life, like the ability to go to good schools, I have a duty to make a large positive difference.