Monday, August 9, 2010

Dumb Fish, Smart Pond

I was talking to Marsha today about her parents, and asked her if she felt proud that they were so smart. They were chemists. She said that their smartness did not help them at the end of their life, when they died in pain and wracked with Alzheimer's.
That took me back, because I just expected a simple yes or no answer. Marsha is always very philosophical.
That being said, I told her I wished I was smarter. I told her that in high school, I was a big fish in a little pond, I had many friends, got good grades, and felt a lot of self worth. Then I got into college and didn't pay all that much attention to my studies. I was too busy enjoying my freedom and my "grownup-ness", after all, in college no one is telling you what to do!
Back in my day, the guidance counselors gave you few options: go to college; become a nurse; work in an office; or be a mom. I went to college, but I didn't really know what I wanted to do with my life. I worked a lot of "jobs", not careers. I eventually wound up working in an office, something I swore I would NEVER do. I kept an office job for about 15 years.
Recently, my life path has lead me to work as a vet tech. I find myself being the dumb one surrounded by smart people.
Marsha told me that just because you are a vet doesn't mean you are smart, it just means you are educatable. (See, more philosophy.)
I told her that I felt that so many people at my hospital were smarter than me and it was unnerving. I feel that my intelligence has diminished since I got out of high school, and there are times when I hear the vets talking that I feel like an utter moron.
I have to remind myself that they went to vet school, so they better know what they are talking about! I still wish I had done something better with my life 20 years ago, though. I would have loved to be surrounded by smartness when I was still young enough to really make the most of it.
I will have to be content with the knowledge that I have a rewarding career now, and not to regret anything that I have done (or not done) in my past. I just wish I hadn't let all my brains dribble away, because I really need to use them now.


nighthawk said...

Gee I an write my own blog on this one. Youth really is wasted on the young. I mourn the days of "my missing years" and how my own illness kept me from ever having a steady job and how I, even now, although I'm fortunate to be working but I am in a job that will NEVER challenge me. But I must look at where I have been. As much as I lament my lost time, I revel in the fact that I will use this experience--life experience and grow from it. It is humbling to compare myself with others who didn't have one tenth of my knowledge and intelligence. But intelligence cannot be quantified. Many successful people are not afraid to fail. I've had a fear of success. But I'm getting over it. I can accept what I have today and change it or try to when I have the opportunity. When I entered massage school I was worrying about all this anatomy and other stuff that I had to learn because I didn't do well in high school especially with Bio. But these were all paper tigers as I did pretty well. It made me wonder why I never tried to go to Med School. I was even encouraged to do so by a Dentist after he heard about my Massage School success. But anyway you're doing what you love. You were successful as a manager in your other life. I wish I could post stuff about my job like you do. And you're serving people and their pets by helping them. No DOUBT whatsoever in my mind that you could be a veterinarian someday. I would bet my whole bankroll on that!

JayMonster said...

As the self-proclaimed stater of the obvious, it is not what you have done with your life that matters as much as what you are doing now. So it took you a bit longer than others to "find yourself" So what. Life is so much better (according to somebody much smarter than me, that I cannot remember) when you say "I'm glad that I did..." rather than "I wish that I had..."

So, you can't speak on the same level as somebody that is more schooled in a topic than you are. You ARE smart enough to know what you do not know... and that is a great start. A smart person is not a good talker... but a good listener. One that learns from the people around them. And that my dear IS you!

Pity parties are fun sometimes, we all are prone to them, but just remember that the person that has it all (or more correctly *appears* to have it all) or LOOK like they are so organized and well put together... they have just as many problems in their life... just in some other form. The real risk to a pity party is that you can start to believe it. But I will be damned if I will let you fall into that trap. (Not as long as I can write, obnoxiously long comments on your blog :-)