Question-ed: Love vs. Duty

This weekend I felt as though I was sitting at the round table convention of real people.  My friends the doctor, the teacher, and the actor, (and me, the bookbinder) sat at brunch discussing the life decisions that stood in front of us.

The doctor talked about choosing a specialty.  Do I choose the path that I know I love, that I know I'm good at, but that I know will rule every free moment of my time, leaving very little room for anything else?  Or do I choose the path that I could enjoy, am marginally good at, but will afford me room to have a life of my own?

The teacher talked about getting her masters.  Do I pay $30,000 a year for a two-year program that will exhaust me mentally and financially and move me back to a city I don't want to be in, but eventually get me a license to do what I love?  Or do I stay where I am, do what is stable, but is not my passion?

The actor talked about auditions.  Do I continue to go after my dream of being a star, though I know how largely unrealistic that can be?  Or do I settle on my comfortable path of studies and gallery work that pays the bills, but will never fulfill my desire to be on the big stage or big screen?

And I spoke of the bookbinding business.  Do I continue to turn page after page in my tiny cubicle, learning different techniques of the same skill because its safe, because I don't know what else I could get paid for, because I'm scared?  Or do I give it all up, start over from scratch and pursue what I love, even if that meant giving up my free hour for my blog?

It shouldn't have amazed me that this question was so universal, but somehow it did.  This eternal question of love vs. duty seems to apply to everyone, regardless of their profession.  However, despite the universality of the question, it seems that the answers are as different as open heart surgery and a lesson plan.  And so the doctor, the teacher, the actor, and the bookbinder went on their way into the beginning of the week in search of answers...


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