Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Zero or a one?

Today's quote: A writer? What do you have to write about? You're not oppressed. You're not gay.

I've often wondered whether I am a leader or a follower. All my life my father has pushed me to be a leader, and I usually ended up in those roles in school. President of Honor Society, member of student government, etc. I'd always felt that I didn't really like being in that sort of role, because it seemed to me that people expected so much of you. I've always had a fear of being overestimated and disappointing people. I'd rather be the underdog who pleasantly surprises others with my unknown and astonishing abilities.

So the start of my transformation began in college. I swore to myself that I would not let myself be known as that geek, that do-all annoying overachiever. I set out to be the best slacker I could be. That's when I found out that it wasn't really my parents who pushed me to do all those things. Maybe to some extent, but they weren't the determinative factor. I realized that I have a nasty little streak of competitiveness. However, choosing a difficult major soon beat that out of me. No longer could I compete with those alphas at the front of the pack, it was all I could do to survive.

Now, here I am at a crossroads, wondering if I really want to be a lawyer. This really leads me back to a bigger question, however. One of the main problems I have with being a lawyer is the whole scenario where I would have to join a big firm at the bottom rung as junior associate, grind my way up the ladder relentlessly trying to get that bigger paycheck and better hours, so that I can go from working 100+ hours a week to just 80+ hours a week. All of this while taking all that bullshit from the senior partners who slough off their drudgery and unwanted crapwork onto those unfortunate junior associates. I think this is the part where I have the biggest problem. If I have to be doing crapwork, I want to be the one making myself do it, not because some asshole higher-up tells me to.

I've always known that I had problems with authority. It's the real reason why I can't go to church. Especially since visiting Parkview, I feel that the sermons and the show put on are not-so-subtle attempts at brainwashing the masses. I'm not saying that I know any better than others in how to worship, but I think perhaps I am most comfortable in my own way, and not by following the orders of others.

So am I leader, or a follower? I'm not sure. I don't want the responsibilities of a leader, nor do I like being in the spotlight and having controversy and gossip surround my existence. But I also dislike following the often stupid orders of other people. I don't always believe in doing something just because it works, I like to see that it's the best way, or sometimes I like to see if there are other ways. Daddy always said I was stubborn, and maybe it's the real root of my problem with authority. I often think that I could do whatever it is better.

Maybe I can end up as the person right next to the leader? Someone who has input, but doesn't have to deal with all of the responsibilities and publicity.