Wednesday, 15 April 2009


I have never left it so long without blogging and I have missed it. There has been the issue of work, of course, but it has also been Passover. I love Passover but since we keep it more strictly than not, there can be no baking. And let's face it, Kosher for Passover baked goods just aren't that good and definitely not worth the effort. But when I get home I will post photos of our Seder - it was a most merry one!

I have a question for the parents out there. Would you always want your child to be at the best school they could get into, even if you felt they would struggle at that school? And what about your choices so far in life: to what extent have they been guided by pragmatism?

The reason I ask the question is that I think I have been hankering after the best and the best ranked for so long, and I feel such a sense of relief at admitting that to myself and admitting that the best is too difficult for me. It's funny, I do not have a competitive bone in my body and I have never sought to be the best at anything, so it comes as something of a surprise, when I look at the course my life has taken so far, that I found it important to attend the highest ranked high school I could get into, the highest ranked university and workplace. Why? Because it was objectively the best thing, not beause it was good for me. Not because I ever really thought it through. I preferred to struggle a little but be somewhere 'better' than to be somewhere mediocre.

This firm, its top clients, its smart lawyers - it is out of my league. I'm not made for it. And I'm happy to admit that. I am going to leave and handing in my security pass will feel so good, will feel like regaining my life.

I don't think that my parents made bad choices for me - in fact, I made most of my choices myself. Still, I hope that, one day, if I am fortunate enough to have children, I will be able to guide them to make choices that do not relate only to their tangible success but also to their wellbeing. Where will they be happy? Where will they thrive? A balance must be struck. I want them to think about their choices with an open mind in a way that I didn't think about mine.

I always wanted to go to the best, because that's mindless, isn't it? It doesn't require a choice - the choice is made if you live your life only by objective standards: A is better than B - I'll attend A.

I don't know what's in store for me next, but you can count on my rational side giving way to the more creative, spontaneous side that has been held back these past few years. I'm excited!


Anonymous said...

What is best is what is best for you, to realize your fullest and finest potential. I am pleased and proud of your decision. To be anything less than yourself is to betray the self, the worst betrayal of all. To fulfill your potential, that is true love.

Anonymous said...

I'm excited for you! It's like a proper adventure, which I assumed people stopped having after the age of 27. I've promised myself I will do the job I'm in for 10 years and then I will do something completely different. I don't know what. I've got 9 years to think about it. So far trapeze artist is top of the list.

Nadia said...

Wow! That is brilliant! I think you will do great at whatever adventure you take on. Cheers!!

emlizalmo said...

Really, really interesting post Vanessa. Something I think about a lot...especially for my children. I had a long conversation with girlfriends the other day about it. About our schools here in the US, about so much mediocracy. In so many ways, I want my children to be the best. The best in school, the best at whatever sport they attempt. I wanted that for ME and now I want that for them, BUT...they aren't the best. They are wonderful, and talented, and kind. I'm realizing though, that they can leave a longer lasting mark in this world based on WHO they are and not what they can do. I am proud of you for sorting all of this out. Find what makes you happy. When you are happy, you will make others feel the same way. I think THAT is success.