>What do you do when you are really good at something – something that very few others excel at, even – and you kind of hate it? Worse, what happens when you are good at something that few others are and it is something that could benefit the public? Do you sacrifice your own happiness for the greater good? Also, aren’t you supposed to be happy when you do things that you are good at?
This is a big problem that has been plaguing me of late. OK, more than of late – I’ve probably been struggling with this issue for about two or three years. For as long as I can remember, I have been committed to working towards a better America for low income kids. I dropped out of Fordham Law School after only two days and attended grad school at Columbia instead to further my progress along this path. Ever since grad school, I worked to create more quality, affordable child care in New rk York City. Along the way, I developed highly specialized knowledge in child care facilities development and finance. People respect my thinking and ideas on the topic; my expertise. It is nice to be only 30 and be seen as an expert. At the same time, I also discovered that I really hate child care facilities and finance for a variety of reasons.
Sure, there are days and times when I am excited by what is going on and all the opportunities that seem to be cropping up of late. More often, however, I am just depressed by the moronic decisions, bureaucratic inertia, and general fear of change. Yet every time I am on the verge of walking away from it all, I find myself distraught. Who else will do this? I’m good at it, damn it, and these kids need all the support they can get, even if they never know that people like me are out there for them. There are some great people out there that I would miss working with, and what else could I do, anyway? It's not like I have a back-up career. The guilt and doubt kick in, and it kills me just as much as my general unhappiness in my field does.
Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.