Simple life=good life?


Wandering through life one has to stop and wonder, have I made the right choices?

Looking back on my life, there is one choice in particular I have and will always wonder about.  Should I have gone to graduate school or should I have become a high school teacher?

I often times wonder what life would be like if I had chosen the later.  I’d probably have a job right now, back in the state I love.  I’d be making more money right now*, I’d probably own a house, would have proposed to Pam.  Life would be monotonous, but enjoyable, go to work, grade papers, have my evenings free with Pam.  There would be a rhythm to the seasons as well, football season, basketball season, baseball season, Summers off.  I’d probably be coaching, definitely baseball, maybe football.  I’d be great at it too, I’ve always had a knack for teaching and have good rapport with my students.  It’d be a simple life, but fun as well.

But here I am, making no money, still taking classes.  Pam is in limbo and life is to be honest, not that different than it was a year ago.  My future is uncertain, I may get a job as a professor, I may be a post doc the rest of my life, I may not even get a Ph.D.  Who knows?  I know I will probably never live in Wisconsin again…

Whenever I go through this little thought experiment, I always fall back to my time in Americorps.  During that time, life was easy, evenings were free, no homework, no parties, just down time.  How did I respond, well to be honest I got fucking bored!  I felt complacent and unsatisfied.  I felt like I was festering, stagnant.  I think, if I were to settle and be a high school teacher, I’d always be unsatisfied.  I’d always wonder, could I have done it?  Could I have gotten my doctorate?  Could I have made it as a professor?  Did I have what it took?

At least this way I will find out.

Shoot for the moon, if you miss at least you will be among the stars.

I know, it is a really stupid quote, but I’ve always tried to orientate my life so that I would take chances, but have fall backs.  If I didn’t get in to graduate school, I’d become a high school teacher, if I don’t get my doctorate, I will teach at a community college.  So on and so forth, having backup plans for my backup plans.  Aim for the most ambitious, but be ready to be happy with the fallback.

The problem with that is I begin to wonder ‘would I have been happier doing the fallback’.  And I’m right back where I started and the thought experiment begins again.

*although I will make more long term under my current path.

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~ by epiphron13 on May 31, 2011.

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