“So what have you been up to since graduation?”
I dread this inquiry more than my dentist appointment
next week. There is no response that can validate my existence. Nothing comes
forth but the trite reality of the last few years. While I was in school I had
an excuse for procrastination. After all, I was working towards something,
towards some bright future behind hopeful eyes. I could answer with ease back
then. Now my mind searches for internal consolation at my lack of success. “I’m
still young” is one such rationalization. But this excuse will serve its time
as well, and then what? I’m sure I’ll come up with something. The expectations
of others weigh too heavily on us post graduates who still waitress or work
retail or answer phones. It’s as if we are already failures and our hopeful
eyes grow dim by our lack of direction. I know it isn’t just me, and I know I
am a bit whiney. They just expect so much of me and school was a joke of an
excuse anyhow. Five years and tens of thousands of dollars later and I can’t even remember the majority of information that I memorized and regurgitated. I justify my whining. It seems I can justify anything these days. Like
a defense mechanism against my own discontent with all I haven’t done. But
there’s always a ‘yet’ to insert. A future where I have things figured out and
people think of me without concern because, behold, I am successful! So this is
it. I am driven by fantasies of some future that is as real as my next daydream.
But what if all the inspirational articles are true? ‘Seven Steps to Make YOUR
Dream Reality!’ they promise. For a moment my hope is renewed. What if I quit
dreaming and started really living? What if I defined success on my own terms?
What if I could just shrug off those silent expectations and rest in confidence
that I am doing my best? Am I doing my best?
Dolf came to his “wuxia master” statement after exploring not only his film preferences but also his extraordinary crucible experience in the Congo, when militants were threatening the brewery he managed and he had to order it barricaded to protect his employees and prevent looting. The Egyptian factory director focused on family as his purpose because his stories revealed that familial love and support had been the key to facing every challenge in his life, while the retail operations chief used “Compelled to improve” after realizing that his greatest achievements had always come when he pushed himself and others out of their comfort zones.
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