Jun 10, 2006

Time is Repugnant -- Quoth Johnny W.


When I say I want to go back to school, it isn't the result of one week of work at a newspaper that doesn't have the charm and glory that I once saw as a naive freshman in college. It isn't because I've decided I hate copy editing or journalism (not exactly, anyhow). It's because I am PASSIONATE about Judaism. It isn't some kind of fanatic, fundamentalist Judaism. It's a complete curiousity and desire to know as much as I can in my lifetime ... because G-d knows there isn't enough time for me to figure it all out. But I want to devote my life to FIGURING OUT and LEARNING ABOUT and telling others ... as much as I can. In an academic sphere. My Judaism is my Judaism, damnit. I'll practice how and when I want. But the history, languages, beliefs, theology, stories, literature ... my G-d it's all so beautiful. And as long as there's eager listeners, then by damnit, I want to be learning and teaching.

I hate that certain persons make me feel like less of a human being because I want to go back to school. I love copy editing, I do. I'm good at it. Some people may not know it, but I am. I have faces and places to back me up, and that's good enough for me. But I don't NEED the prestige anymore. I know I'm good, and the people who need to know I'm good know. So what's the point in driving myself to unhappiness for the sake of working at some paper that prides itself as journalism's namesake? I see no reason.

Anyway. I don't want to have to prove myself to people. I don't want to have to DEFEND my decisions and choices. I just want to do what I want to make it OK. So when people say "What do you mean you'd rather be happy than make 55,000 a year starting?" ... I want to choke them. Comfort financially? Yah, that'd be nice. But if it comes at the hands of losing happiness, fuck that noise. I'd rather be penniless and happy than rich and poor in spirit and emotion. My father, if there's one thing that he said that ever stuck with me, always told me to put happiness and myself above finding the perfect job. If you find one, the other won't be far behind. Is that idealistic? Maybe.

But I've spent too much time trying to prove to others who and what I am. It's time for a little ME time.


Gorski said...


If the perfect job was at the expense of your happiness, maybe it isn't so perfect after all.

It's your life, my friend. You know what's important in it -- not everybody does, but you've spent some energy on this already. Judaism and God, or bragging rights for career and money? maybe that's a false dichotomy, maybe some people can do it differently, but that's what you've presented here and every other time you've told me about this.

In the end, a job is a job, and it'll be as big or small a part of your life as you care to make it. If it's something you do to pursue Judaism studies, then to be sure it's a part of your pursuit of Judaism, and it becomes in itself a holy thing and an offering, I think. If it's something that consumes your life and becomes your identity, then you're Copy Editor first instead of Jew and Jewish scholar first.

I suspect those who don't now understand that there's a decision to be made there are the ones who are already consumed by their career -- whether they once made that as a conscious decision or not.

Peace to you,


rubybeth said...

I think what you're saying, dear Amanda, is that copy editing is a job and being a teacher/lifelong learner is a CALLING. Which is an awesome thing many people don't experience, so it's tough for most don't understand. But, dad gum, if you've found what makes you excited, go with it. I know I've found it with library work. :)

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