Many years ago I was expected to go to University. It seemed this was the sole purpose of 11 years of obligatory education – plus two more of chosen education. And twelve years-in, I was told “this” was the sole reason for signing-up for another 3-5 years of university education:
“You really should, because qualifications will get you a better job. But more importantly, you really should fulfil your potential (or you are letting all of us down – yourself included).”
In those days there were no loans or personal/family finances attached. Education was free for all (the very small percentage deemed capable of a degree course). Now it is free for all (who can pay).
It seemed to me (even then) that guilt was attached to this “free for all “education. Was I “achieving” … Was I meeting “expectations” …. Were my grades consistent … Was my work “maturing” …?
These thoughts were prompted by “awkwardp3rsonn” who has written the sum total of two whole posts on their blog: “Hello” and “Two Posts–Day 1”, in the past 48 hours. It was the second which connected.
Is this a “good blogger”? Does this blogger merit a follow (at this very early stage in blogging”)? Shouldn’t I wait until I know I want to read their stuff before following? What if they are not – I will have wasted my time (and yours as well – if you have a look).
What “awkwardp3rsonn” reminded me of is this:
Having ditched the imposed moral/cultural/societal motivation for further education, I came out of the system with no more than I would have two years earlier. And now a problem of explaining that lack of achievement to prospective employers. So I drifted. I did “jobs”. I did a lot of “jobs”. I had no career to speak of. I had no career path at all. I was an employment grazer. I nibbled a little here and moved on. And each prospective employer saw that grazing – in different pastures – with different herds – no logic – no pattern – no “career path” – no interest in employing me. Not for a “career kind of job”. Not for “real money”. Not for “challenging roles”.
Was I happy? Yes I was.
I worked until the buzz fizzled out and then moved on. I had a social life. I had a home life. I had fun. I was living! And then one day – now married with two children – I looked around at work and realised I had been doing the same job – with the same company for 18 months – and I still wanted to do this work for the next 18 months.
My “career” had finally found me!
And I stuck with it not for money or prestige or power or all that boring “stuff”. I stuck with it because I loved what I was doing each day: credit control – business to business. Decades later I still do credit control as part of my current role – and I am really good at it!
During the past decades I have shed the big departments, the big blue-chips, the corporate greasy pole, the networking need … all of that. Along the way I found that climbing the “management ladder” comes with great cost. The cost of compromise – too much cost – too much compromise. Of integrity. Of sincerity. Of family. Of love for those who are invisible – our own children (usually).
Those who I created with the one I love became invisible Monday – Friday (to all intents and purposes). A kiss goodbye while they were sleeping. A kiss goodnight while they were sleeping. The acceptance (fiction!) that quality time is better than just “ordinary time”.
And a wife who (seemed) to treat me like a lodger (because she was so damned tired by the time I got home late again). But who seemed (to me) totally unloving. Because I was still buzzing from another adrenalin-filled-day at work. Which led to the biggest compromise of all: “I am doing this for us darling!”
So I expected my wife to be attentive (while I relayed all the giants I had slain that day). and I expected her to reciprocate with all the mothering “giants” she had slain (in her mothering adrenalin-filled-day). She never did. Apparently mothering has none of that – and is very tiring as well. Really?
So I moved to denial: she no longer loved me like she used to.
So, Paul … nice story. But just what has this to do with God – with being a Christian – with religion – with church … ?
Maybe something …
Maybe nothing al all …