Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | October 25, 2006

debate me now

I owe my passion for politics to my parents, “There’s a lot more going on in the world if you educate yourself. You’re not the only one going through this. Here. Read. I said Read.” From the age of …I don’t remember I began reading everything I can get my hands on. I’m her. That girl on the bike at the gym with a book and power flipping through a magazine at the same time. I’ve always been an eager and enthusiastic student when politics or rules are involded. I’ve needed to learn how to get around them.

I learned early that participation was paramount and that change could be just an effort away. I drew up campaign posters for national candidates, pass out voter registration forms, and made countless calls for initiatives I believed in (like stem cell research). In the mornings before school I’d get ready and listen to the morning news reports with my Mother. In the evenings she’d edit my government papers about national security, terrorism, and racism in the south. It never occurred to me that this might all make me an enormous dork. I’d loved it all and turned up the AM radio station.

In grade school I began taking up my own causes and bringing “lost puppy dogs home” I tried to protect the forests, stop animal testing, adopt a child by sending money to Somalia because Sally Struthers said to. Generally, I wanted to save the world with one lemonade stand or dog walking service at a time.

In high school we moved from the North to the South I became obsessed with free speech, I rallied against censorship, I was for gays in the military, and drew attention to self-segregation. I wrote passionate papers about how freedom and rebellion was at the heart of our democracy and the terror occurring in the West Bank. I wasn’t above invoking these themes to denounce the tyranny of dress codes and curfews. If I want to wear a concert shirt to school, it’s my right.

I’d have considered running for class president had we stayed in one place for long. It wasn’t until college that I developed a moderate love of the law and majored in political science…after spending 3 yrs as a pre-med major because it was more practical. I wanted out of school. Poli Sci provided a quicker route. Since then, I’ve gone back to medicine and questioned if law was the way to go? It doesn’t always pay the bills….unless you’re running from it.

Maybe some always know what their destination is. Similar to how some are born into finer things. They understand they will only need to work a few more years until their trust fund kicks in. A man and a woman lock eyes from across the oom, set the hook and are anchored knowing they will be together for eternity. Perhaps, it works that way with some. For Generation X and Y’ers finality is known to be an undetermined factor. “You never know what can happen. Sign on the dotted line.” Finality makes me anxious. Knowing something is definite and not a constant makes me cagey and tied to a series of open ended questions. It’s no secret I question everything and try not to freak out when a phone call comes through as promised or a favor performed for the sake of it. Because they care. What? Similar to how choosing a definite career path FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE makes me squeamish, the way relationships do. I fear giving to much, working to many hours and not getting a proper return on my investment. It makes me want to bake cookies and feel domestic, I’m anything but domestic. In junior high I wanted to be a chef and spent an entire summer cooking for our family of seven. My brothers thought it was a fantastic idea while my sisters said, “Enough with the cookies.” My sisters have managed to say that about some of the men I’ve dated as well. However, they’ve always supported me in a Little Mermaid fashion whatever career path I take. Sales Diva, lawyer, doctor, hand model, race car driver, dog trainer, cop, beach bum, hand model, physical therapist, National Four Square Champ, lobbyist, clothes designer, gymnast, Ferris wheel operator, debate writer.

“Dad says you want to be a fighter pilot now?”

“That was yesterday after I read an article about a need for more skilled pilots willing to go over seas. Today on a bender to quit this medical thing and taking off for Europe.”

“You’re kidding.”

Sigh, “Yeah. A girl can dream and that’s not very practical.”

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Responses

  1. Yes, I think that’s part of the point – you need to do something you love, so that no matter how many hours you put in and no matter how little you make from it, you still feel fulfilled.

  2. heh. National four square champ. That was a good one.

  3. odd post today. not that its odd you wrote it. odd that this has been on my mind alot lately. it may be time for me to seek another career option.

  4. Have you thought about working for a non-profit? Maybe there’s a cause you believe in here in Houston that need paid workers of some kind. Money won’t be great, but, then, there’s more to life than money.

    I’ll spare you my cynical view of politics, though. I don’t trust any of them, even the “good” ones.

  5. Don’t count on the nonprofit not paying well. The American Cancer Society here pays their attorneys twice as much as I make now and the hours are 9-5.

  6. no non-profit work. The pay is crap.

  7. Yeah, I understand… you have to do what you feel passionate about. Good for you for being an intelligent, strong and confident woman. Too many women tend to downplay their desire and thirst for knowledge. Always good to know there are others out there… 🙂


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