Maybe its a function of growing older, of being a late bloomer, or of simply being American, but I often find myself questioning whether what I have is enough: professionally, socially, gastronomically…
I spent much of my latter college years questioning the upward mobility always need more tendencies in American culture and expectations. I went to college for the same reasons as most of my colleagues had: it was the logical next step, it seemed like it would be fun, and also the important thing to do in order to succeed in life. But I also had a love for learning (I really did), and a passion for music, and an optimism that could make flat pop bubbly again. I didn't lose those things (completely) during my four years of college, but I also didn't finish my degree “ready” for employment, or really much “ready” for real life. I suppose there isn't much that can prepare you for “real” life, apart from living it, but I think I was surprised at how NOT ready I felt. So I fell out of my career path for a while and chose another more blatantly “pious” one–the pious are still surprisingly ambitious, or at least I was.
But I digress…I think many of my questions/frustrations about ambition and upward mobility are culturally driven, and possibly cross culturally driven as well. Yes, Brasil has a slower moving culture, and many people where I live value family much more highly than any career path, and yes the United States is near the opposite, where we often move across the country for better jobs, and can't help but try to find the BEST of everything: be it toothpaste, toilet paper, or televisions (yes, I meant to be alliterative here). But I'm not satisfied with this answer yet.
Is there a point that we reach when we realize that UP and DOWN are not the only ways to move? What does sideways look like? Diagonal? Parabolic? I seriously don't know which is happening in my life now, but between kids, professional mediocrity, personal vacancy, artistic spasms, and consumeristic daydreams, I hope that in the end, I make something pretty.