As I hit the age where people stop automatically using “untimely demise” to describe one’s death, I’m still working on getting a Venn diagram where “something at which I excel” overlaps with “something about which I feel passionate” and creates a ménage à trois with “something financially feasible.”

Because while I’ve had jobs I liked well enough and I’ve had jobs that made moonshine seem like an appealing breakfast treat, I’ve never actually been in love with a profession.


So I exhale green-tinged sighs when I meet people who have always known PRECISELY what they wanted to do for a living. Though potentially a frying pan/fire situation, I immediately want to exchange souls with them. And–lest I be accused of age discrimination–I’m also ready to swap with anyone who discovered his or her calling later in life.

Clearly I’d be better off if I were the type of person who could cheat on a ho-hum job with exciting, fulfilling hobbies. Then I wouldn’t need to be in love with what I do for hours and hours of my day, dammit. But as Mr Vix likes to remind me when I’m in the throes of existential despair:

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”

While I look for my niche, I’ll continue to be intrigued by where people work, how they work, and why they work. And to be selectively fascinated by what their labors produce. Because sometimes we make our own destiny, and sometimes our destiny just manifests.

…it’s a big world out there, and each corner seems full of ways to create, repair, maintain, and evolve…

(clockwise from left: Torcello’s wild abandon holds traces of its 20,000 former inhabitants; an upper terrace at Fortuny’s palazzo/studio-turned-museum (see an official shot of Fortuny’s library); contemplation during cobblestone repair; a Missoni colorway holds echoes of Italy; workers pass a former monastery; family and fishing boats rest while laundry dries)

5 Responses

  1. I have the same problem, and I’m getting close to 50. At some point before my life is over, I should think of something to do with it.

  2. You’re right, this intersection is a precious place to be.
    If you have a few minutes, there’s a great video by Stanford Professor Tina Seelig on this topic…

  3. Hello Bingo, call “early retirement” at 50 and then you don’t have to worry about it anymore!

    Struggler, Seeling has a great point about “finding the intersection between your interests, your skills, and the market.”

    My problem is I’ve done that TWICE and the market shifted pretty dramatically both times while I was still early-to-mid skill set (leaving tons of mega-skilled types on the hunt).

    All my many flaws didn’t help me compete, of course!

    I’m pretty sure I should just try to be a radiology tech in my older age. All the damn boomers will be breaking hips right and left–it HAS to be a failsafe path!

  4. PS – I have an award to offer you, if you’d care to come on over to Struggling to be Stylish to collect it.

  5. LOL re the baby boomers, but I suspect you’re right, it is failsafe!!

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