I don’t know what I want to do with my life. Thursday didn’t help.

Rather, I know exactly what I want to do with my life – I want to be a published writer – but have to do something else to pay the bills, which has been library work for nearly a decade now. There doesn’t seem to be a way upwards without an MLIS, which takes time away from writing, and money I don’t have.

If I were passionate about being a librarian, the path would be clear. I’m not, and becoming less enamored with the idea daily. I don’t want to teach and I don’t want to sit at a reference desk and I certainly don’t want to develop a collection. If only I could be paid to run the computery bits, wrangling the OPAC, beautifying and organizing the website, that sort of thing.

… yeah. They call those people “systems librarians”, which means we’re back to the MLIS situation.

My real problem is that I don’t want to waste time on an education that will make me only marginally more employable. I wonder if this is just one of those things I’m supposed to suck up, or if I should go with my gut instinct not to focus on librarianship and keep trying to kick-start my writing career.

I don’t want my life to be a result of a choice to do something slightly more interesting than my current job. My decision to enter the Masters in Humanities program was along those lines, and it made me miserable.

How do people figure all of this out?

What is exciting me right now: writing a short story from the male perspective. It’s kicking my ass in the best way. Also, I’m going to make the MSG my very special white-trash comfort-food for dinner tonight. I suppose I am missing the chunk of human experience that is motivated by mo’ money, because it’s these little things that excite when I wake up in the morning, not the thought of a promotion or raise or buying something new.

I saw a Mormon on the subway last night, my first up-close in San Francisco. He was only a few inches taller than me, and had carefully-cut short blond hair and little silver wire-rimmed glasses. He wore a tie and a white short-sleeved shirt and a badge and everything. The badge was black plastic with “Elder Lastname” in white block letters, only it was a real last name. Underneath his name were Chinese characters which I imagine must have been its translation. As I squished past him to exit the car at my stop, I whispered in his ear, “Smile.” I don’t know if he smiled or not, but I sure did.

And that is what I want to do with my life.

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