May 16, 2013

On graduation. Or failure. Or patience. Take your pick.


I feel like no one is failing at this job thing quite as spectacularly as me right now. In some ways, I don't really get what's wrong: I have a degree from a fairly reputable and respectable university, I think I have a measure of competence and intelligence, although I'm fiercely resistant to technological change I still consider myself fairly adaptable, I'm somewhat personable and get along with people relatively well, I am also neither a child murderer nor a rapist. So all in all I should have pretty decent chances at getting a job AND YET:
  • I am still jobless even as I plan to walk at my commencement ceremony in 3 days
  • I am still paid an minimum hourly wage even as I work myself to the bone
  • I am still an "intern" even though I most definitely do not do menial intern tasks (though I have to say tonight came fairly close)
I don't know why all this frustration suddenly hit me. Like a tidal wave of OMG WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME. When I hear of other people getting amazing awards or getting into business school early my mean little ambitious heart compares our situations and I literally feel all the joy sucked away from me.

I've been reading a lot of graduation speeches and everyone always talks about being fearless and doing what you love and blah blah. I'm not hating on them, some are really powerful, like Reid Hoffman's and Robert Reich's.

But I legitimately think the one thing that people don't talk enough about at graduation speeches is PATIENCE. I feel like I've been striving so hard and pushing myself so hard to prove something to myself. I've been striving for greatness without knowing what greatness even IS. I've been impatiently waiting my turn in the "I'm successful!!" line and I'm kinda getting pissed and convinced it's not ever going to happen. I want to change the world - and I want it to have happened last Fall.

I think, most of all, graduation speeches should say this:
  • Be patient. Your time will come.
  • Be patient and be in the moment because you're never going to be able to learn, make mistakes, and try again as much as you can do now.
  • Be patient. Good things are coming if only you truck along and dig deeply within yourself to continue doing good work with a good attitude.
And finally:
Be patient and faithful. You're on your way.

I just wanted to encourage anyone who might be in the same situation as I am to not lose sight of what you're worth and what you're capable of. Note to self: just keep swimming.

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