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Catbox revelations

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This is a little weird, mostly because it involves cat poop and my convoluted thought process, but whatever:

I was cleaning the litter box a little while ago, and as I was lifting out great hunks of petrified cat piss I thought to myself, “This is the closest thing I’ll ever get to an archaeological dig.”

Which was a bit sad, because anyone who’s ever seen and loved the Indiana Jones moves and Jurassic Park and minored in Anthropology has thought about archeology. But see, it’s much less of a “soft” science than anthropology and I was just not that into math. (I also came to dislike anthropology as it was taught at my school, but that’s neither here nor there.) Because I’m reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother right now for book club, I decided that I didn’t follow that dream of digging up artifacts while wearing a dashing floppy hat, charmingly covered in dust, because I didn’t have the discipline and drive. After all, didn’t my internet friend Meryl go on to be an archaeologist? If she could do it, I could have!

But really, I realized, everyone has different dreams and different levels of drive to accomplish them. I could have gone the path of the hardcore anthro person, but I think I’m much happier where I am now. Which is… well, not anywhere concrete yet. Publishing. I’m interning at an agency, and working at a bookstore. For a long time, I’ve been trying to get a job in children’s editorial, but it hasn’t happened yet, and I think maybe that’s not where I’m meant to be after all. My first internship was also at an agency, but it was small and not as organized as it has become now, so it was a little chaotic and I got a little gun-shy of agenting.

Now, though (I thought, while shoveling clay-covered feces into a plastic bag) I think agenting pretty much combines what I love best about editorial and bookselling: working creatively with authors, and connecting books to people who will love them.

There’s more to it than that, obviously, but this realization has made me feel a lot better about not getting any of those jobs I interviewed for. Maybe they just weren’t where I was meant to be. Getting to where I am meant to be is probably going to continue to be long and hard, but I’m feeling a little more optimistic again.


Written by Emily G.

January 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm