I’m the ever-aspiring Fool. More specifically, I’m aspiring to be the Fool we all once were. The confident, wise being whose unwavering optimism serves as inspiration to me now.
I’m a recent graduate from Cal, and by recent I mean I graduated over a year ago; I now find myself on a path I never dreamed I would be on. For several years, I imagined law school as my final destination, the grand finale to my education (maybe not finale, but a temporary ending), the solution to my indecisive wants of pursuing other careers. Law school was the answer; it was stable and doable.
As the academic year was reaching it’s savory end, the end I’d prayed I would see, I felt what home-buyers feel when buying a house out of their price range: buyers’ remorse. The LSATs were taken, letters of recommendation sent in, personal statements sent in, and the application fees paid. The moment should have felt euphoric, like a boulder off my shoulders, but I didn’t feel satisfied. I suddenly found myself asking the question: so what are you doing to do after you graduate, you certainly aren’t going to law school? Wait, what?
I decided that I would only go to law school if I were granted acceptance to my top two choices: Stanford or Berkeley. I didn’t want to go to any law school, just to put a check mark by that goal. I wanted to go big or go home. Let’s just say I went home…relieved.
I worked at a high-paying, dead-end (for me) job after graduation; the position was temporary and even with the option of extending my contract, I felt it was not right for me, tempting as it was. I will spare you the details. Law-anything was not a desirable option, and while I was mostly responsibility-free, I decided to explore my most authentic dreams. This part, I relealized, I should have done in college, before choosing a major, and at least before choosing a graduate school. The job ended and the world was my oyster, my mysterious, exciting, confusing oyster.
One glorious Monday night, I went out with an ex-coworker on what, at that time, I reluctantly called a date. We got along so well from our first encounter that I looked forward to the friendship we were bound to have. On this night, a night filled with fun and thought-provoking conversation, he asked me a question that set me up on the path I am on now. The fervor with which he asked the question surpirsed both of us, as if he wasn’t completely aware of how important this question was.
“Elena, what do you want to do?”
With even more surprise, I exclaimed, “I want to write!”
There was a moment of silence. I knew I was in the presence of a truth of truths. Writing, a hobby, was always dear to me, and fun! I had never considered making it a career though, I was certain I had nothing to say that wasn’t already said; I merely wrote for myself. It took an implusive question for me to have an impulsive answer, which would be the most authentic one.
When you are on the right path, you seldom know it’s the right one beyond feeling it’s the right one. The way the universe folds and opens to offer you this road, which leads exactly to where you should be, is miraculous. Two weeks did not go by before I found an internship at a publishing house, here in San Francisco. Now, almost eight months later I have a part-time job with the company, with a boss whom I feel cares about my dreams. I have time for myself to write and I am even working on a book with my boss!
If I hadn’t taken a leap, or two, of faith, I would not be where I am now. The very essence of the Fool is trust in what is ahead, as long as you are doing what is true to you.
As for the man with the important question, he is my partner of over 7 months, with whom I am very much in love, but that’s a different story.