Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Destiny Cannot be Escaped

So, dictionary.com provides one of the definitions of "destiny" as "the predetermined, usually inevitable or irresistible, course of events".

Just keep that in the back of your minds while I tell my little story...

My favorite Star Trek character, ever since I was a little girl, is Spock.  He's so trustworthy and reliable and smart.  He knows everything and he won't yell at you about it, even if you do something really dumb, which we have to admit, Kirk did all the time.

I was introduced to science fiction by my Dad who grew up loving it.  I never became a super-duper die-hard science fiction fan, I admit, but I've read the important ones, the Foundation books, the Dune books, all of Ray Bradbury (oh man I love Bradbury).  And I love sci-fi movies.  It's very likely that one of the reasons I always had a soft spot for Spock is that I felt like he was like my Dad.  Even the pointed ears.  Ok, just kidding on that one.  But they were both tall, slim and had dark hair.  And both always knew the answer to every question and were very logical.  I never felt that I was like that - I'm neither tall, slim, or have dark hair.  I felt like I didn't know anything but had feelings about everything.  I was always a very feeling type person.  I have sympathy.  I have empathy.  More, really, than I wish I had. 

My poor Dad would try to tutor me for my math classes which for some reason, starting in high school, I never did well in.  I remember just not getting ANYTHING he was trying to tell me.  I excelled with the word stuff - english, writing, literature classes were my forte.  To this day I find math very frustrating.  I think one of the issues was that I was one of those people (still am actually) that makes a leap to the answer of something.  I was never someone who could show my work.  Even when writing, I didn't make notes, or create an outline of my paper.  When the deadline came, I sat down and just wrote it.  It sprung fully formed from my forehead as they say.  Sometimes, when we were required to turn in our outlines ahead of time before the actual paper was due, I'd write the paper and then just figure out an outline to turn in.  I just don't think in that one logical step at a time way.

Not feeling like a logical person, I ended up majoring in Psychology in college - it's hard to get more liberal in Liberal Arts than that, right?

One weird thing?  I had to take a statistics class.  I LOVED it.  Totally aced it.  The rest of my math classes were all remedial - only what I had to take in order to graduate and I struggled with them. A strange anomaly in my anti-math career.

Being unable to follow in my Dad's footsteps into Computer Science due to my broken math abilities, I ended up temping when I got out of college and fell accidentally into the Pharmaceutical field.  I worked many years in Regulatory - the department that works with Health Authorities to get drugs approved.

When I finally ended up leaving Pharma a few years back, I ended up at a firm that does consulting work for Pharma companies.  I found myself in the software department, Product Management to be exact.  There I've created requirements for software based on my years of experience in Regulatory.

And meantime, something was happening.  Something quiet and insidious.  I was accidentally absorbing programming concepts from the software developers around me.

It didn't really hit me until the other day.  I was having a conversation with my father about something going on at work.  He responded to me describing situations he's been in (he's been in the technical world for ever - starting with programming, eventually running a data center).

I suddenly realized as he was talking that I TOTALLY UNDERSTOOD EVERYTHING HE WAS SAYING!

Was it the first time ever?  There is a strong possibility it was.

And I realized then that I had actually managed to follow in my father's footsteps even though I had done everything possible to go the opposite direction.  What could be more anti-Spock than a degree in touchy-feeling-tell-me-all-your-problems-and-I'll-help-you-Psychology!!!!  I know, right??????

And yet here I was.  And even crazier?  I love what I do.  How about that?

So beware out there.  Your destiny awaits.  :-)



3 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful story, but as usual, you're too hard on yourself. I have always envied your skills in empathy and sympathy, since I have NONE myself. Children are the blending of attributes gained from their parents and leveraged by the child. Without the 'people'-skills you received from your mother, you and Heather might have been just more mechanical people - like me. And as much as I enjoy Bradbury, I like Clarke and Asimov better.

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  2. You are hard on yourself...you excel at so many things!!!

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