Because if I can't say it, at least I can write it on my blog in some weird passive-aggressive venting session.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I don't get angry often.  There are things that irritate me, there are things that frustrate me, but to get me really truly angry is difficult.  I like to think I'm pretty easygoing (usually), and I'm a pro at rationalizing and/or brushing things off.  I'm very "big picture" when it comes to negative emotions and I can easily compartmentalize most things into "this sucks, but it won't matter in this many hours, so just let it go now and we can move on."  And it works for me.

But one thing that definitely angers me is when people tell me to choose a different area of study if/when I return to grad school/continue my education.  My optometrist said it to me, a lot of friends, random strangers, and, most recently, at least 6 of my relatives at my family reunion suggested it to me.  Everyone says some sort of variation of "don't do journalism again, it's too hard for a career. Choose something broader that's easier to find jobs.  Like accounting/engineering/medicine/something math based!"

And it pisses. Me. OFF.

I do not choose my study based on its ease.  I do not model my life after something that will gain me the paycheck to support what you deem acceptable, or what this fucked up economy says will be the most profitable.  And I sure as shit do not choose what I study to satisfy some deep-seated need of yours that wants a lawyer in the family or will give you pride when you introduce me to your friend as "Ashley Blogger, MD."

I chose journalism because I --GASP-- like it.  I don't just like it, I happen to love it.  I adore this craft and want to hone the skills required.  It's fascinating to me.  It's something I enjoy.  It makes me happy. I get that it's difficult to be successful in this field, I get that it's pretty much luck and pure balls to make something of yourself within this industry.  I don't expect some six-or-seven figure salary, and I understand how much of a struggle this will be for the rest of my life.  It's not like some math-based study would be incredibly easy or something--I'm sure every single type of field and career will have its own difficulties and struggles.  I'm not going to become an engineer because you see more job listings for it and the income is higher--maybe some people can and will do that, but it does not work that way for me.

And really want the doctor diagnosing your illness or the engineer making your airplane or the person managing your finances to be someone who was forced into the job, who had to cry in front of her teacher to get a C in AP Calculus II in high school, who has absolutely no interest in that field?  REALLY?!

I'm not asking for these people to agree with my choice, I'm not asking for them to understand it or support it or come around to it.  But I would appreciate a little respect for it.  And if that's too difficult, I will take the thinly-veiled condescension masked as fake acceptance.  Anything to just make these people shut the hell up and stop taking shots at something I love and the way I've chosen to live my life.


Melissa July 7, 2010 at 3:23 PM  

Ugh, I so hear you. Once I told a co-worker I was going back to school for my MLIS and she said, "you know... there aren't many jobs in that field," as if she were delivering some kind of revelatory news that I'd somehow missed as I researched my future career. You know what I think? All of your haters can suck it, because life is too short not to be genuine and follow your dreams.

Amber July 9, 2010 at 5:17 PM  

I fully support you decision to be a journalist. Mainly because it's the same decision I made. I get the same sort of crap from my grandmother and other members of my extended family. My friends and even a few acquaintances have been supportive, though. So that's cool. I've done some freelance work and have written for a few entertainment sites. Even though I can't support myself on the money that I make from my writing and have to work another part-time job to supplement my income, I'm happy that I'm doing what I want to do.

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I'm fairly obsessed with penguins, Peanuts (the comic), and the TV show Friends. Parentheses may or may not be (over)used in this blog, and books will pretty much be the only thing I ever talk about because they are my One True Love.


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