A few weekends ago, I made a trip with some friends from high school to New Orleans, a city none of us had ever been to. We went to support one of our own who had a med school residency interview at Tulane. While walking through the city, one thing just kept reverberating in my mind:
Have I done enough?
Our 10 year reunion is next year (2012), at which time we will have many questions to answer about what we have done in the preceding ten years. What can I say?
I graduated college. I started teaching. I will have gotten my master’s degree. I have kept teaching.
We started talking about some of our other friends from high school who have:
- Graduated college and medical school and will be in a residency program across the country.
- Graduated college and worked on a master’s. Bought a house. Moved to India for 2 years as a missionary. Came back to the states and got married.
- Got a doctorate in biochemical studies and conducts research in Colorado.
I know it’s not fair to compare myself to others. And I’m not, honest. But they have done so much in 10 years. Am I happy with what I have accomplished? Is it enough for me?
And, for me? It’s not. I always wanted to do big things with my life, and yet I feel as if I have settled into a comfortable place. Where is my drive for doing big things?
Not two days after I got home, I was watching Barefoot Contessa on Food Network. I started talking to B about what she did before starting a cooking show (she was a nuclear policy analyst). We looked her up on Wikipedia, and were shocked at her accomplishments. She’s done so much more than that, so much more than I would ever think I could do.
And, so I ask…Why is that? Why haven’t I achieved great things? Why do we settle into something comfortable rather than reaching for more? At what point do we say, “This is it. I am doing everything I thought I would.”?
I hope I am not giving the wrong impression: I love what has become of my life thus far, but I am starting to wonder, What else can I do?