If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!
I was 14 I think, when I read Kim, also by Rudyard Kipling. I remember the day I picked it up from the library, sitting next to my schooltime boyfriend:) I remember so vividly, his reaction. How was I moving from Agatha Christies and Nancy Drews. He said something to me about having too much time on my hands. And how right he was. I read the strangest, most irrelevant and (maybe) useless books. I enjoyed it.
Having too much time on my hands has been the story of my life! I’m lazy and I can’t pretend I’m not, but I hate having nothing to do for more than an hour. Weekends are busy, but weekdays aren’t. Work is slow. The bright side is, I get time to do what I love, to write. To write, other than what work expects of me.
If someone had told me, at 16, that I would be a journalist, I would not have believed them. My English Lit teacher did tell me once, that I should make it my profession. And that’s when I started writing recreationally. I stopped caring who I wrote to or what I wrote about. I just wrote. I never imagined, though, that I would get paid to write. I never thought of myself as a writer, I still don’t.
Recently, at dinner with a friend, I told her of my plans to choose a new career path. That I was bored and that I thought I could do much better. That I wasn’t using my head, and I didn’t feel productive. I love numbers and I love words, words more than numbers, and work is the perfect blend. The problem is I don’t get to be creative, at all. I get to be creative here, and elsewhere, never ever at work :)
I still believe my calling is to teach little children. I don’t know when I’ll get to do that, maybe after I’ve had my fill of corporate mania, after I’ve worn my glasses long enough, watched enough CNBC, talked mergers and acquisitions over dinner for years, stared at tickers and stock moves on my three screens for hours on end, played the stock market for a while, and managed to make an impact of my own. Maybe then I’ll teach babies how to count and read and write and spell and subtract.
I find it hard to believe that this is what I want to do, I can’t imagine myself with a hoard of little children running wild, but my heart says that’s where I’d be happiest.
For now, I’m content. I want more, but I’m content.