Beware: this is very stream-of-consciousness stuff.

You know, Capricorns are supposed to be known for ambition.

And I think I have it, certainly to some degree or in some areas.

But I was wondering: is my struggle with confidence intertwined with what I/society define as ambitious?

I don't think I've considered my definition of ambition much. When I think of ambition - as related to women, because I am one - I think of women dressed in business suits in high-powered jobs, making executive decisions or women "in the field" saving the world en masse or a woman in some research lab, biochemical for instance, making discoveries which will also save the masses.

I guess, in large part, these are my heavily media-driven concepts.

But I don't exactly fit into any of those categories:

1. Me in a business suit? Well, maybe, but I prefer to be Assistant X, than Director X [and I live for my jeans]. I suppose this harkens back to my fear of failure: I don't want to have to take the blame when it all falls apart (wow, how awful is that?). I imagine my parents will have something to say about that one.

2. Me out saving the world? No, I've learned I'm not exactly comfortable with the nitty-gritty side of social work (Kristen, I really admire your strength). I have more faith in humanity than I used to, but that stuff sort of kills it for me - I really struggle to keep a positive outlook when I get that close.

3. Research: I love it. But academia is not exactly calling me at the moment. Anyone know of a job where I can run around researching stuff for people all day? I love being given a puzzle and working and working and working, with whatever resources I can find, until I at last achieve it. It has to be attainable, if it's too convoluted I'll just walk away, but if I know there's a solution, and it's worth my time, I love research.

And yet, I would be totally untruthful to you if I denied wanting to be one of those women.

And do you notice that none of those three examples includes her children in the definition? Hmm. Definitely gotta' rethink that one, too, 'cause I know I value motherhood, crave motherhood and all-around respect motherhood. On the other hand, I do want to do things as well. I want to contribute to society in some other way, too. I know women who, when they no longer have little kids depending on them, go through a major identity crisis. There must be some balance, right?

Help me out here, folks.


Last year when I first showed up at school I didn't know what I wanted to do (and arguably still don't). However, frustrated by indecision I said to myself that I would study biology and psychology and become a doctor, maybe a psychiatrist. But, then, second semester I realized that I would just be becoming a a pill pusher and dropped the bio track. But now I have a much better sense of what I want to be and those goals are driving me forward. I really thought that I wanted to be a clinician but am beginning to rethink whether or not I want to do that.

What I'm trying to say is that picking something that sounds somewhat appealing, setting a goal, and an extended goal, using that original idea, and then chasing it didn't get me any further but I have been very productive along the way. I guess that it's more of a lateral movement, probably involving growth and character development.

Have fun.

p.s. the important stuff, like serving the Faith and having kids, cannot be ignored. Don't worry about them and how you'll work them into your life because as you go you find opportunities and, knowing you, you won't say, "I'm too busy making money/ a career/ deciding what color blinds to put up/ being middle class/ etc."

I think ambition is knowing what you want and going after it. So the trick is figuring out what one wants. I want to become a national board certified teacher. My phocus right now is making it through the year without going crazy/giving up. Each week I get better. I wish I had been given all my planning materials and cirriculi ([lural of curriculum) in the summer so that I could have been better prepared. I feel as though I am constantly playing ketchup.

i love the spelling rae

Hmm, Maman - I'd like to hear from you. Did you have a goal and just get 'sidetracked', or did you follow opportunities as they came up, without necessarily a specific goal in mind?

I've tried the whole 'specific goal in mind', and well, I just don't have one. Not career-specific anyway.

Truth be told, my 'phocused' goal in life was to be a mother. Yep, my highest aspiration. That probably sounds strange to you, my feminist daughters (all three of you), but it is true. The hormones were very strong. After it was clear that I was finished having children and that they needed me less and less, then I had to figure out what I was going to do next. I partially fell into what I do and partly chose it. I chose the area (helping other women) and yet when I started working at the Women's Center, I didn't really connect the two. And now I am reassesing and may be making another choice. I would prefer to make the choice than than to have the choice made for me.

Hello Mara,
I believe one may define ambition as eager to, and making plans to, and taking beginning steps to, and following up on initial steps with next steps until actually fulfilling a wish, or dream, or yearning, or life goal, or achievement of your choice. Traditionally it may have other definitions which include power, control, wealth, gender greatness,etc.,etc.,etc. If one works toward being a good mother one becomes an 'heir of the kingdom'. That is pretty good. Or if one works toward creating a loving home environment for her family, she becomes and 'heir of the kingdom'. That also sounds pretty good. If one spreads the teachings of faith and belief dor today, one becomes an 'heir of the kingdom'. This is admirable too. Being a teacher, mother, hmemaker all are wondrous and rewarding ambitions. The worldly ambitions of position, prosperity, status, all last a short while but can be accomodated in today's society anywhere in the world in addition to the other delightful ambitions. You should have great fun deciding ways to balance these opportunities. Sometimes, like Poohbear, one merely need follow ones feet and everything becomes a panorama of wonderment
and friendship. It just takes you somewhere new.

phonics! anyhow, the whole feminist thing is about doing what you want. I feel less and less like haing babies everyday.

Whatever, Rae. If you weren't meant to have children, no one was.

Occupational hazard of working too closely with other people's kids. You didn't have any input in the first 5-7 years of these kids life.
I ran into Mrs. Roberts the other day (Melon Holes). As you know, she is retired and is now taking computer classes here at Lakeland. She was so happy to hear of all of you. A great teacher can touch many lives.

Mara, what would you do with a million dollars?

First reaction? Donate it to the funds.

Second, slightly reflected reaction: oh, well, I should probably keep a little to provide for my family, maybe invest a bit. But after that: donate it to the funds.

Third reaction: hmm, it'd be really nice to travel the world. . . .

How do you play ketchup?

Wait a minute, does that game have anything to do with the joke "ketchup"?

Of course it does!
1/2 a million dollars would be invested in hybrid energy and collecting oil from plants like they do in Germany. the rest to pay of loans and buy a house( well, in this area it would be more like a large downpayment. A nice house costs more than $440,000)

You know, I had some pretty similar responses to the question. Wouldn't it be wonderful to pioneer somewhere and, oh, I don't know maybe open a school somewhere. If Mark was working at, say a foreign funded medical research station (for example, the AIDS research centers in Gambia that are funded by the Gates Foundation) you guys would definitely be able to support yourselves comfortably in a sustainable manner.

Well, Mara, then perhaps no one is meant to have children.

Wow, Rae. I'm really sorry you're having such a rough time at work.

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This page contains a single entry by Mara published on October 2, 2005 10:08 PM.

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