The Wrong Kind of Ambition

Recently my parents have been talking about me getting a job next summer. They’re a bit instistant about it, but I am rather less than pleased by this turn of events. Call me a snob or call me lazy, but I don’t see anything exhilarating about getting up at the crack of dawn to stand over a frying pan for hours on end. Of course, no one in their right mind would enjoy that, and there are very valid arguments in favor of getting a job in high school.

“It’s a good way to earn a little pocket money.”
Or
“You need to start saving for college.”
Or
“Learning to work when you’re a teenager will prepare you with skills you’ll need for the rest of your life.”

And I understand those reasons. They make sense. But I admitt that I am a very lazy person. I’d much rather spend my time on art projects and singing and reading and writing than doing actual work. Don’t get me wrong, there are some kinds of work I enjoy, but those tend to be things that excersize the brain rather than the body. I just don’t want to get a job, not only because it won’t be “fun”, but the way adults go on about their occupations sometimes it seems like having a job is depressing and torturous, and that isn’t how I want my life to end up. But if I don’t get a job at some point my life will end up much, much worse. I have to grow up eventually.

The thing is, as much as I’m excited to become an adult and finally have the freedom to do what I want with my life, I also find it a terrifying and confusing and extremely dreary thought. As a kid I don’t have very big responsibilities, but when I’m an adult they’ll be huge. I get to go to school now, but before long I’ll have to work instead. And while there are many adults who love what they do for a living, there are many others who’s jobs make them miserable. And I don’t want to be the type of person who gets stuck working at a job I hate because I think it’s all I’m going to get, slaving away in the same dull office complex day after day after day. Some people might love that type of job, but not me. Basically I’ve been contemplating my future and thinking “I have absolutely no idea what I want to do with my life.” And that scares me.

The thing is, I know what I want to do with my life. I’ve always known. I really do have loads of ambition, it’s just the wrong kind. The kind that isn’t deemed practical be society. I am a very artistic person. One of the most artistic people I’ve met, and I don’t mean that in a bad or good or braggy way, I just mean I haven’t found many people quite as invested in the arts as I am. I have theater friends who could tell me the name of every major musical in the history of Broadway, and I have writer friends who are far more well read than I, and I have artistic friends whose paintings take my breath away. But I don’t know many individuals who are heavily invested in multiple art forms like I am. I’m not saying I’m wonderfully talented at any of it, but the fact remains that what I am best at is things on the creative spectrum, and almost nothing else.

When I was in fifth grade I decided I would be an actress and a writer when I grew up, but I knew I’d need a day job and couldn’t figure out what that would be. Almost six years later, I still can’t figure out what that would be. I want acting and writing and doing the things I love to be my actual job, and maybe someday they will be, but I have to work my way up to that point. There’s plenty of jobs I can think of unrelated to the two mentioned above that I think I’d actually enjoy, like university professor and librarian and research psychologist or even a journalist for a respectable newspaper, but those aren’t the types of jobs that one gets when they’re sixteen. I’ll need to have some undesirable job at some point, I know that. I just don’t like it.

I have so many dreams I want to achieve. So much I want to do with my life. I don’t want to waste what little time I’m renting here on this earth on doing something I hate. I think there’s lot’s of jobs, even tiny ones fit for sixteen-year-olds, that I really wouldn’t mind having. I just have to find them.

Have you had a job you really hated, or maybe one you really enjoyed? Tell me about it in the comments.

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One thought on “The Wrong Kind of Ambition

  1. Ugh, I agree with you about boring jobs. I have one. :/ I’m a line cook at a restaurant and it suuuuucks…

    I also agree about the different types of ambition. Everyone has their own ideas about what worthy in life, so some people don’t get a sense of accomplishment from working in an office!

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