On looking back in regret: “Watched a program on television about the sixties. I don’t think I was very reflective politically and socially in that time of my life, and I certainly know that I lacked courage. Will I look back and regret my blindness today?”
And later on, “I was so unreflective in the sixties. I wonder if I will look back on my life one day and feel that I went through all of it in a daze?”
My college suitemate during my freshman year was a senior with wide-ranging interests in the arts and culture, but who majored in economics, passed the CPA, and went on to get a Ph.D. in her field. I once asked Joanne about this seeming “split” in her interest, and she responded that she wanted to keep her avocation and vocation separate; she wanted something “like economics” to pay the bills.
I realize in retrospect how much to heart I took this comment.
Even in college I longed for and deliberately planned for a profession. The fact that what I eventually became (a librarian) is different from my college dreams (first, journalist; then, English college professor)is not particularly important. What is important is that all of these vocations are a little tangential to my “real” interests, which are a cluster of spirituality, metaphysics, and psychology. Something within me feared “getting lost” in these less-tangible areas. In my work life I touch the here-and-now, the practical problems of interaction in and contribution to the secular world.
My head may be in the clouds, but my feet are on the ground. Of course, it is the clouds that show me how to live.