October 12, 2009

Building a Future

The most beautiful Kizuwanda, who I miss terribly.

Whatever you want to call it- redefining your life after a major break-up, turning another year older, getting laid off and rediscovering your passion- I've started to evaluate my life, values and aspirations. Somehow I feel more adult these last several weeks, more woman than girl, and more responsible for my actions.

In the corporate world I learned that I don't thrive inside, in heels and dress pants, at a computer underneath fluorescent lighting. I was often sick with sniffles and sore throats, shivered in AC during beautiful La Jolla summer afternoons and went home tired and unmotivated. I was unhappy and, suddenly aware of my waning job security, I searched.

Who knows how long I'd have stayed in office jobs, growing increasingly miserable. I'm incredibly grateful to have not only gotten a job working outdoors but with animals in an organization dedicated to conservation (for this I will be forever grateful to UCSD for having one of the most advanced student-run transportation systems in universities). Even though now I'm removed from animals I'm still so excited and happy to go to work each day. And I'm not completely removed from animals: mule deer love our hillside; dozens of lorikeets are only a few steps away; I have a new perspective on the animals I befriended and watch them from my perch.

Working at the Park has reawakened my need to continue learning; I can't imagine being happier than learning about animals and the world we live in. I can't wait to be a guide, to learn new things and teach them to others. I'm kicking myself now for not pursuing EATM or biology. I'm apprehensive about starting over, making the jump from literature to biology, but it's something I feel strongly about; I don't think I'll be satisfied with "just" a bachelor's degree. Even though I recognize that to get where I want I don't necessarily need more formal education, and I'm in the very fortunate position of being able to learn as I do, my personal goals are more than that. I'm pretty excited for the next few years.


  1. I wanted to let you know that I did read this a while ago. I have been doing some thinking on it.

    Don't kick yourself for not pursuing EATM. Take it from someone who did; because they are a community college, they have to select who gets in by lottery. You could be the most qualified person, and someone with no qualifications except for the minimum of what they ask will get in over you.

    Also, I have been thinking that I should have taken more writing classes (or any for that matter). I was not sure how to tell you, since writing has become your thing. So, I find this very interesting.

    I never thought that I would want to, since it ("it" being the affect one has on others through writing) is so subjective to whomever is reading what you write, but I feel like I have much to say.

    Anyway, your love of conservation and of animals is a part of who you are. You do not need a degree to show it, for you naturally exude it. If this is what you want, you will find a way.

  2. I still think I should have pursued EATM since at the time I lived there, would have been pursuing biology, and if I was denied or wasn't randomly selected at least I tried. That being said, I'm still very pleased with the degree I have and I know I'll continue to use it the rest of my life, including in my pursuit of Park jobs.

    It's kinda funny you've been thinking of writing (would it be rude here to correct your use of "affect"?); I was just talking to someone about how some of the best writers are great because they're avid readers, not necessarily because they took writing classes. There's a market for just about anything...