My mother is a science person so I’ve always assumed that that’s the direction she wants me to take in my life. However, when I was home last summer, my mother gave me advice that I never expected from her. I thought that when I asked her what I should do with my life, she would tell me to pick a science degree and that an English degree was a one-way ticket to poverty. Instead she helped me figure out how to make the decision.
We were standing in her bedroom in her new house, trying to organize her closet. It was a chilly June morning, but the sun was shining casting that soft winter light that seems to make everything glow. I looked outside at the garden. The lawn was brown and most of the plants had been recently planted, but I could see what my mother was trying to create. I looked at the room we were in, realizing that my mother had finally found her dream house. She noticed my admiration and began to tell me about her search for a house.
“This wasn’t my first choice. My first choice was a beautiful house in Vainona. It was lovely. As we walked through it, I mentally started moving things in. I wanted that house, but I decided against it because the kitchen was a little small, and there were other minor things I didn’t like. It was great, but it wasn’t perfect. So we didn’t make an offer and I regret it now. But then we found this house which was practically falling apart, but instead of looking at the flaws, I looked at what I could make of it. And now look how beautiful it is. You see Chido, you’re never going to find anything that is a hundred percent. There is always going to be something you don’t like. You just have to find something where the good outweighs the bad because there is no perfect.”
All this time, I’ve been trying to find the perfect job. I imagine that one day I’m just going to try something and get it right the first time. I will love it to bits and spend the rest of my life contentedly doing whatever that magic job is. Oprah’s got me searching for an Aha moment, for that instance when it all makes sense and the path becomes clear. If I keep waiting, I may be waiting for the rest of my life. There is no perfect job. There is no one thing that I’m supposed to be doing with my life. What is there are a several jobs which I could find satisfaction in doing that I could turn into what I’m looking for.
There is no light-bulb moment when it comes to me deciding what to do after graduation, no aha moment biding its time and no neon sign that says “Go this way to find the perfect job.” None of that is there because there is no perfect, just potential.