- Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending
This doesn’t feel right. This doesn’t feel like the life I should be leading. This doesn’t feel like anything I ever dreamed about.
I’m stuck in a life I never wanted. I’m trapped by responsibility and rationality. I’m caged by my beliefs and convictions.
Yeah, ok. I’m twenty-seven. That’s not really that old. I’ll likely live to see my ninetieth birthday. I’ve got a lot of time to change my life and to change the direction in which I seem to be moving right now. But anyone who has ever chosen a career path knows: there are some paths that seem narrower than others.
I chose to become a teacher when I was nineteen years old. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I didn’t think too much about the daily routine and the daily pressure. I thought about ideals and hopes and wishes. I wanted to change the world, one child at a time. I had no idea how hard this would turn out to be.
And now it feels like I’m stuck. I’m stuck in a job that too few people cherish. I’m stuck in a life where I can’t stop working even if everything seems to be off my desk at home. I’m stuck in an environment that doesn’t take me seriously yet, simply because I’m under thirty and teaching children half my age.
And all of this, the distrust and the insecurity and the inevitability, are chipping away at my convictions. I do want to be a teacher. But I don’t have it in me to fight for the right to be one.
- Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close