Monday, February 15, 2010

I want to be a government agent.

Today was a hugely productive day. I made a makeshift desk in between my wife's bed and my bed using a wooden insert that we leave out of the dining room table because it makes the room too small. I studied all day without pause, and by the time nightfall arrived, I was happy with my accomplishment.

I do not know whether I will pass the bar, but I will do everything in my power to better my chances without losing my sense of humanity. I might be a post-graduate law student, but I'm still a human being.

This evening I watched the pilot episode from season one of Alias. I've been thinking about it for some time now, and so I decided to go online to see if anyone has it available to watch. I was so excited throughout the first episode that after it was over, I noticed four burn marks across the base of my thumb from the heatsync on my laptop which has a tendency to overheat. It's not painful and it will probably fade in time, but it combined with the show gave me a powerful feeling that I don't have to be ordinary. There are people who do exciting things, and I wouldn't mind being the type of person who kept secrets. I already do, so what would be the big change if I did it for a career? My whole life is one big secret.

The hardest thing to come to grips about is that I am (and I emphasize am) a nobody. I have few friends, and even they are spread around the world living different lives than I am. My life is that of a religious reject with a law degree who doesn't like his surroundings and who doesn't connect with the people around him. I'm an actor standing in the role of my life, and for the benefit of those around me, I am happy to be in the lives of those who have dedicated their lives to being part of my family. I love my wife. I would be empty without her. I care deeply for her, and I think about her all the time. That doesn't mean that it wouldn't be nice to have some action in my life.

The fact that the highlight of my life as it is now is showing up in a room with a bunch of men who read words off of a page and sway back and forth in prayer kills me. I cannot believe THIS is my goal in life - to be one of them. Spiritually, I need more. I read some time ago that from a Jewish perspective, meditation is for someone who needs meditation. A healthy functioning person shouldn't feel the need for meditation. You know what, however? I feel the need to meditate.

On another level, I'm bored with the opportunities as they have presented themselves to me, and I'm bored even with the goals and dreams I have set for myself because I feel they are so limited and mindless. I want to be an attorney, woo hoo, great goal. I accomplished it long ago. I want to work in a law firm... WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD I WANT TO DO THAT?

I want danger. I want risk. I want skills that I use on a daily basis. I want to be like a sharp scalpel in my practice. I want what I do to matter. I want out from all these laws and rules in life. I want to speak with people in foreign countries in foreign languages about something important and secret. I want to live an adventurous life. I want to gather information, identify issues, make inferences, take action like a government agency such as NSA does. I want to know who or what Echelon is. I want to understand what Einstein 2 is, and I want to be one of the people who directs projects and missions. There's something that separates a regular ignorant on the street and someone in the know. I want to be in the know.


Kiley said...

There is no harm in putting feelers out and trying for a different career; I have been doing so since being laid off, in fact.

Take care and many blessings to your growing family!

Ahuva said...

Why don't you look for other ways to bring adventure into your life. You could take up rock climbing, for example, or caving. You could learn to be an EMT and save lives. If you want something really adventurous, you could become a volunteer firefighter.

It is not an easy thing for someone who has been in therapy within the past 10 years (for something other than marital counseling, coping with the death of a family member, or dealing with the results of experiencing combat) to get the kind of clearance necessary to do what you're talking about.

It would be easier for you, an orthodox Jew, to join the armed forces.

Anonymous said...

With a law degree, you could apply to several federal agencies and probably be eligible for some exciting opportunities. You would have to be prepared to be away from home for some periods of time and be on call 24/7. Do you really want that?

Zoe Strickman said...

Ahuva, I'm sure you're joking about the armed forces comment - they'd make me shave my beard!

Anonymous, which federal agencies did you have in mind?

Anyone, must you join the military first before getting into the FBI, the CIA, or other agency? What kind of credentials or education are needed to go down this path?

Ahuva said...

I wasn't joking when I said "it would be easier." It WOULD be easier. It would just be a bad idea, as is this one.

No, you do not have to join the military before getting a job with the FBI, CIA or any other Agency.

The issue, as I said, would be getting the necessary clearance.

Ahuva said...

Zoe, another issue would be that the vast majority of those "interesting" jobs reside in or around Washington, DC. Are you really going to pull your wife away from her family? Didn't you go through all kinds of tzuris because you were living away from her family and she wanted to be near them?

Zoe Strickman said...

Ahuva, I'm very excited that you posted those links up there. As always, you are a source of wisdom and you are correct that my wife's family is enough of a pull so that we never leave this state -- that's why I decided to start from scratch and take the bar exam here. My wife fought so hard for us to get here. It's not worth paying the price of her happiness for me to work in DC. I'll look locally for something after the bar, and if I can't find anything, I'll go caving.

Ahuva said...

Zoe-- caving is a lot of fun (or was.. it became too difficult for me to continue caving once I started wearing skirts all the time). I should be able to hook you up with a NY-area caving group if you decide that you're interested.

There are probably hundreds of ways to bring excitement into your life without turning your family upside down.