Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Being Brilliant

Is a hell of a burden. I mean, once people get the idea you're a genius, there's this expectation that a woman as talented, intelligent and beautiful as yourself is wasted on whatever task you're doing at the moment, regardless of what it actually is.

Well, what is it I'm supposed to be doing? No, really. Curing AIDS? But I don't feel like going to medical school.

Why not?

Well...I don't know, it just doesn't appeal as much as studying other branches of science, or history or litera--

Why not? Women like you should be running for president.

Well, yes, I'd probably do a good job, but the investment to get there is horrendous, a kind of deliberate sacrificing of your soul on the altar of public perception, and I'm not sure I could do it long enough to actually make it to the presidency and I don't want to look back on a failed political career and hate my life --

Why not? You should be CEO!

CEO's spend all their time running around schmoozing. I don't want to be CEO. Captain of the ship, yes, CEO, no --

Why not? You could be saving the world!? You should be saving the world!

Do you mind? What the hell kind of question is that? Why do I need to justify my career decisions because I'm some kind of smarty? Do smart men hear this, or is it just women? What is the definition of success? I want to look back on my life and not have regrets. To know I made good choices when I could. That I served others. That I made the world better by being in it. What is the best way to do that? How can anyone answer that question and know they're right?

My entire work life I've gone from job to job filled with people shocked and appalled that I'm there instead of Somewhere Else using all of my big brain to achieve something Big™. Important.

Well, I am doing something important, dammit. I'm

a. Living my life. I don't want to save the world 24/7. I want to go on vacations, and play with my cats, and read, and maybe go out on a date occasionally.
b. Paying my rent. Even Buddha had to eat lunch, y'know.

Sigh. Is it just smart women that hear this? Is it?