Friday, September 28, 2012

Paradox of Choice

I am currently in my second year of college and and I have to say, sadly, that the reality of all the choice that has been inevitably thrust in my path has me feeling paralyzed.

Right now I cannot say where I will end up in the future. That's the damned scariest thing about wanting to write as a career. I'm sure this same feeling applies to many others seeking a degree in the Humanities. It's so objective.

However, last night I was reminded of the things that make me feel fulfilled, and I know there are others out there like myself who are willing to forge a path in the artistic world which may also provide them the means with which to sustain their lives. I was reminded of this as I browsed the Hiking pages on StumbleUpon. I found that a man in Australia has actually made a living taking people to the most exotic and beautifully mountainous areas of the continent to rock climb. He's also made an exceptional amount of money simply by writing about his experiences and taking amazing photographs, advertising all of it on his blog:

This is the kind of person I look up to, I've realized. Not some money-hungry man who made it into the Forbes 100 or a famous businessman from the big city. Yes, it would be great to have money constantly rolling in, but are these men and women enjoying their lives, and do they benefit emotionally from the work that they do? I don't want to make money at all costs, I want to make money in a way that benefits other people. I want to do work in my life that makes someone a Romantic - someone who, without seeing my work, wouldn't have been inspired to do with their life work that made them happy, just as I am currently doing (currently working on in school) for myself.

I'm not in school to become a doctor. I'm not in school to become a nurse, an accountant, or a chemist. A police officer, a pilot, or a construction worker. Students who are in school to become one of these things are taking the kinds of courses they know will land themselves in those very careers. I'm in school to receive an English degree, and as far as I know that means I'm in a paradox of choice, as Barry Schwartz puts it. I have so many paths in which my life can venture, and all the choices have me paralyzed and, yes, scared as hell.

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