"For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it." ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Career Day!

Did I ever tell you about the time I met a primatologist?

Oddly enough it was during my enrollment in a primatology course at SIUE (I guess that's not so odd after all). Our instructor thought it would be a good idea for us to speak to someone in the field because her area of specialization was archaeology. She happened to know a primatologist and invited her to come speak to the class.

Jen Rehg came to our class and blew my mind. Not because she was such a compelling speaker, and not because she was an awesome primatologist doing ground breaking work that would shake the foundations of human identity for generations to come. She blew my mind because she was a regular person with an amazing career. How many times did I fantasize about having an awesome and fulfilling career only to have it squashed by some naysayer who was looking for a parade to rain on? I always thought special people did special things and that I was destined to work in a supporting roll. We need kennel managers and maintenance workers too you know.

There were subjects that I was very interested in while I was in school (did I mention the Ober honors award in philosophy) but succumbed to the old tired logic that philosophy or archaeology wouldn't pay the bills. I could kick my own ass when I think about it. I ended up leaving school during my last semester to go out into the world looking for a job. I doubted my Liberal Studies degree would land me a job so there was no sense waiting. Even if it did land me a job, what type of job would it have been. Philosopher? Primatologist? No. It would have landed me a job as a drone somewhere in Sector 7G always hoping to make a little more money, and to rise incrementally higher in the corporate flow chart until one day maybe, if I were lucky, I could retire and draw a modest pension. How is that different from where I am now? It's not.

I think the take away is this. You can be what you want to be!*

 The asterisk is meant to symbolize that there is always a catch. No matter how much I want to be the King of England it will never happen.

 Chase your dreams, but know you may fail. Always remember though that there are people just like you and me who are living their dream because they chose to ignore the naysayers and kept on pursuing their goals.

For more information about Jen Rehg you can read her bio from SIUE, here.  She has done some great work in South America.  Chasing monkeys through the jungle sounds like fun doesn't it?