Hypothetical Question of the Week
This is not a review post. I just realized I haven’t been keeping up with my daylog posts. Which is probably for the best: if you know me personally, it’s all old news, and if you don’t know me you probably don’t care. But this week, it’s not just about what I had for breakfast (a delicious bacon-egg-French bread sandwich). No. This week, I pose a question.
Happiness: noun. 1. The quality or state of being happy. 2. Good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.
Ambition: noun. 1. An earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment.
Based on these definitions, I ask you: is it possible to have happiness and ambition at the same time?
The reason I ask is because I’m not sure it’s possible to have both, but only because it has not been historically possible in my life. Last year at this time I was in my third term in my video motion graphics program, and I was very ambitious. I took every opportunity I could because I wanted to stand out and be the best. Though I was successful, graduating with a perfect GPA and glowing recommendations from all my instructors, it came at the cost of most of my free time. What time I did get to myself I spent attempting (and mostly failing) to sleep, or lying on my couch trying to shut off my brain. I never got to see my friends and basically lost contact with my family for the program’s 18-month run.
Now, I’ve graduated. I’m still working in the data entry job I worked to put myself through school, though of course I’ve bumped up the hours to full time. Outside of that, I hang out with my friends, I lend my skills out to people who need them (usually free of charge), and I write this blog for all twelve of you that read it (you’re welcome). And the job is not exactly a brain-melter, by the way. I go to work, I do my work, I come home and I don’t think about it until I go back. I don’t worry about how I’m going to finish all the work left on my desk or whether or not my latest project will be well-received. It’s comfortable. It’s nice. And I’m happy. Until…
…until I think about what I went to school for, and that maybe the life I have now is not really happiness, but a trap leading to a slow decline into mediocrity, blinding me to what I really want. I still have all the same dreams I did when I was in school: I want to make films, I want to express my ideas, I want to be heard. But I don’t want to work a job that eats up my life and cuts me off from everyone I love.
Therefore, it appears that the things that make me happy (friends, free time, less stress) are at odds with my ambitions (expressing my ideas through film). It’s a problem. So…if you were me, how would you resolve it?
I don’t really expect any answers, but feel free to leave comments if you have something to say.