The secret to getting what you want is first knowing what you want. So many drift through life with vaguely articulated desires for better or more interesting without specific intentions of how or what. Sometimes the world will provide, but often only to those who ask.
Neither money nor status makes me happy, but these two quantities do leverage other goals. For years, I wanted a break from work to travel alone, visit family, and work on many projects, most notably the project of myself. Although my former company and its career machinery scoffed at a break (you need a job!), particular supporters applauded my risk and buoyed my confidence.
Now unemployed, after months away in nightclubs and North Dakota, in computer classes and casbahs, I want back to career, but a career different than chemistry. I want to code. Although it is quite hard to reinvent yourself, I may get the chance next month as an entry-level bioinformatician, a job title foreign to me.
I pursue my small dreams. I don’t ask for the whole world, but for a part of it. I worry not that I will get to live my dreams – because they all come true eventually – but that I will stop dreaming. What happens if I get everything I want?